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Old snuff recipes

volungevolunge Member
edited April 3 in General
This is a very simple recipe of Peterburgian snuff, which was made in Poland (Union factory, Warsaw) in the second half of the 19th century. It was the most popular snuff among those produced by Union.

"Add 15% of wood ash, 10% of potash, 7% of salt, 2% of fragrant meleot herb to the dust of the very best mahorka; after mixing and sieving it properly, add drops of fragrant bergamot oil, then package it up".

Meleot - Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover), mahorka - Nicotiana rustica.

Though most old Russian varieties of rustica didn't bear mindblowing amounts of nicotine, it was (and still is) considerably stronger than regular tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum).

Strangely, water is not mentioned in this recipe. If anyone would like to recreate this snuff, I recommend using water instead of ash, which contains mostly potash after all, whereas the originally indicated amount of potash (10%) alone is more than sufficient for freebasing the nicotine. Potash can be substituted with 8 % of sodium carbonate (anhydrous) for the same effect. Sweet clover contains coumarin, so it can be substituted with tonka beans, adding them to taste into the finished snuff.

Here's a link to the blog in Russian where I found this recipe:
A very interesting article about snuff taking in Russia there with a reference to another, more sophisticated old recipe of stove-fermented Rose snuff, which I will hopefully translate and post in this thread someday.

I'll try to find out the original source of Peterburgian snuff recipe. Rose snuff recipe is disclosed in the book "Moskva i moskvichi" ("Moscow and Muscovites") by V. A. Gilyarovskij (1926, Moscow), here's a link to the snuff-dedicated chapter:

P. S. 10% of potash or sodium carbonate with 15-20% moisture makes a strong snuff even with ordinary tobacco. Expect ammonia party! :)


  • bobbob Member

  • Excellent post!
    Congratulations my friend!very interesting indeed.
    Everybody who knows of an old recipe should post it here!

  • volungevolunge Member
    edited April 6 PM
    I'm happy to share a find! I hope it will inspire and encourage some folks to try their hand at snuff making.

    Found another one yesterday. It's Zolotaya Rybka nyuhatel'naya mahorka - Goldfish rustica snuff, produced in Soviet Russia in the 1960's:

    zolotaya rybka

    "Goldfish -
    highest quality nasal rustica snuff. Fine dust-like grind, mentholated. Nicotine
    content 1.8%, moisture content 25%. Contains (in % by weight) potash 1.5,
    ammonia 15, mint oil (containing 50% menthol) 0.5 to increase the strength and
    create a cooling sensation. Packed in 50 g paper packages with inner parchment paper
    and foil lining."


    NB! No ammonia concentration indicated for this Goldfish.
    be careful! I would advice using 10% ammonia water. Consider adding 10 parts of water to achieve the 25% moisture, too.

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