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Tonka Bean Scented Snuff

Interested in trying a snuff scented with tonka beans. Elmos Reserve is sold out on mr. snuff and has been for a few weeks.
Anyone know other varieties that use the tonka scent? Or am I better off scenting my own?


  • I'm just not sure about this.  Are you aware of the health issues?  I am looking at flavour similar alternatives.
  • Wilsons of Sharrow have Tonka beans for sale on their site.
    I have possibly tried a snuff with Tonka bean smell, but have no idea really what it smells like.
    Can anyone name any other makers snuffs that smell of Tonka bean?


  • volungevolunge Member
    edited July 2020 PM
    A piece of good news, Elmo's alive - has recently restocked it. You can find it in the SG drop-down list here:

    I'm a big fan of tonka-scented snuff and had a nice time reading online available publications and studies about coumarine safety and risks. Unless you have a rare sensitivity to coumarine, tiny amount of tonka bean in snuff is safe (steer clear of it, if you are in bad terms with Cinnamomum species!). By tiny amount I really mean it - tonka is super strong flavourant, one whole bean (non crushed/non-powdered) placed in 25 g of plain moist snuff and left in the tin overnight does the scenting job. Surely, if you dig the scent and want it even stronger, you can leave it in the tin for longer - till the last pinch. There's absolutely no need to add crushed/ground/powdered bean or use tincture/extract/essential oil or absolute. And yes, you can use the same bean several times.

    I had great results with Taxi Red, NTSU Black, Neftobak and fresh WoS Plain (Natural) - moist/medium moist snuffs, coarse and medium fine. Moist and coarse snuffs absorb flavour faster.
  • Good to hear.  I'll have WoS Plain soon alongside Samuel Gawith Elmo's Reserve and undiluted tonka bean oil

    Rest assured I'll be cautious.  I'm more concerned about upsetting my stomach than a toxic overdose.  That surely would ruin one's experience
  • @ArtChoo, SG Red Crest Scented. The discontinued coarser one. The tin I had was mislabeled as Red Crest. Later on I got my hands on some tins of Red Crest Scented, which all were mislabeled and actually contained plain, finer version.
  • Thanks all. I think I'll buy a few beans and give it a go.
    @Roderick: Regarding health concerns: for occasional use it is considerably more dangerous than cinnamon... Its not something i would snuff multiple times daily for any extended period of time for sure.
    If you are looking to simulate it then mix vanilla, cherry, almond, and cinnamon, you'll have to play with the ratios a little till you nail it down.
    @Gormur: Careful with the oil, that could get dangerous fast.
  • Bryceton, Thank you for backing me up.  I sometimes feel I am on the edge but so many of you guys come up to bat for me.  

    I won't use chemicals in my snuff and I won't use anything that I think might put anyone at risk.  Some might argue why are you in the tobacco business but very, very few realise there is bad tobacco and there is good tobacco.  Unsmoked tobacco will prove its self one day.  Just like tobacco flowers are fighting cancer now.
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited July 2020 PM

    Since 2011, new European maximum levels have applied to coumarin in certain ready-to-eat foods. The Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.1 mg of coumarin per kg of body weight which can be consumed every day
    throughout one's life without any adverse health effects continues to apply

    Tonka beans contain 1-3% of coumarin, and in rare cases even up to 10%. @Gormur, don't use the undiluted oil, extract or any other concentrated form of tonka beans, including powdered tonka bean, for scenting snuff. Besides health issues, it cannot be stressed enough how strong coumarin scent is. Just one example. As mentioned in this study, it was reported that coumarin contributes to the sweet odour of Japanese and Chinese green tea. There's a refference to other study, which analysed Japanese green tea sample and detected 0.26 to 0.88 micrograms of coumarin per 1 gram of dried tea (260 to 880 mg / 0.26 g to 0.88 g per 1 kg; that is a mere 0.026-0.088% by weight). Being very penetrating and intense, coumarine has a strong staying power as well. It's easy to scent a pinch, taking some snuff with fingers after merely touching a bean. A snuffbox which hosted a bean will "ghost" it for long.

    I bought a bag of tonka from Wilsons of Sharrow and followed their basic hint in the item description: "Tonquin Beans can be used to flavour snuff or tobacco. Simply adding a bean to a tin of snuff or tobacco can change its character considerably."
  • n9inchnailsn9inchnails Moderator
    edited July 2020 PM
    I personally love the tonka bean scent and use tonka beans to flavour plain snuffs all the time, just soak a bean in water overnight and throw it in your snuffbox, it keeps the snuff moist and scents it at the same time and 1 bean lasts a long time before it loses its scent.
    When it dries out just rehydrate it.
    Rustica mixes SOO GOOD with tonka beans.

    PS There will be major ghosting if you put a tonka bean in a wood snuffbox, I have a dedicated tonka bean snuffbox.
  • I'm impressed by this stuff, mixed with Samuel Gawith Kendal Brown Plain over a few hours.  Good thing because it tasted like hay before that; not that that's a bad thing

    I won't recommend this to anybody though since it could be unhealthy if you add too much.  I probably just lucked out

  • ar47ar47 Member
    edited July 2020 PM
    Oh I've enjoyed many grams in a day, many o days <:-P

    Of SG Elmo
  • @ar47 Exactly, I haven't gotten that yet.  It will be nice to compare the two
  • Just reporting back.  I find tonka bean scent distinct from the artificial tonquin scent of Samuel Gawith Elmos Reserve

    The first few hits of Elmos Reserve were difficult for me, but I persisted and it got easier.  In comparison, the Samuel Gawith Kendal Brown Plain I flavored with tonka beans has a richer note and is easy to take all day.  Not that I'd advise doing so but maybe somebody's interested to read this
  • Apologies for the double post... i forgot that the coding on this forum is such that minor punctuation will cause a post to not display properly. I will learn.
    Anyway, what I had tried to convey was that one of my top snuffs cased with Tonka bean is Sir Walter Scotts Friar Ramon Pane. It manages to walk the fine line between being aromatically light and aromatically dusky or exotic. Here is its product description, courtesy of SnuffStore and Mr. Snuff

    A gros or coarse milled Indian cheroot tobacco, fermented with a concentrate of leaves boiled with Maldon sea salt and lightly cased with a tincture made from Tonka beans and Vanilla pods

    Tonka bean hadnt even entered my snuffing lexicon until my life was graced by SWS FRP
    Id be curious to know if others share my favorable impressions of this artisanal snuff gem


  • @vaya is it heavily scorched & smokey like an American scotch? That description sounds right up my alley and I have and enjoy most of the rest of SWS' line but thought I had a try of FRP once and it was smokeytown
  • Yeah, I purchased a pack of beans from WOS and I have scented plain snuff with one, however, I am not really that taken with the scent. By the way, talking of WOS, I have emailed them a couple of times recently and they never reply.Anyone ad luck communicating with them? Whilst were at it ,I guess most here have read the health news on the Poschl site, now go over to the WOS site and look at what they are saying. This is a new stance for WOS....

  • VayaVaya Member
    edited August 2020 PM
    @ar47 no I wouldnt compare it to something like Bruton or another American Scotch at all. This type of scent arises more from the curing process and yields a snuff whose aroma resembles that of a cigar leaf. It is dark, dusky, enchanting... trust me, You will enjoy it. It is also not ashtray like, like I find with Latakia Blend. Yet it has those faint whispers of sweet and savory resulting from being cased with Tonka and vanilla. A lovely combination
  • @Vaya thank you! I will have to order ASAP. Both horrified and excited that I skipped this one and may find a favorite gem here
  • VayaVaya Member
    edited August 2020 PM
    @ar47 no problem! Let m let you in on a little struggle Ive had recently, though (and this applies to all varieties of SWS snuffs). Either the tin arrives with adequatel moisture content (which is where FRP really shines) or it arrives a bit dried and crumbly. In the latter case, I may attempt to rehydrate but more often than not Ill end up reordering a tin that will arrive fresh. FRP allure lies partially in its soft, moist and velvety nasal texture which allows the aromas to explode across my nasal palette. If your first tin is sub par, do not give up is what Im saying! I will say I have had three consecutive 50g containers of FRP arrive in perfect shape each, whereas with any other SWS variety at least one of the three would have arrived having lost its moisture content. I enjoy the plastic cold cream tubs it is packaged in as well. Let me know how you make out!

    Can anyone let me know if there is a way to post a picture within my posts on this forum? I can show you what it ought to look like!
  • @Vaya to post pictures you can use the little image attach button, but it only works if the image size is under 2MB
  • I will try to post a picture
  • It is not working, I likely need to use a computer instead of a mobile device. Sorry about that
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited August 2020 PM
    @Vaya, have you tried switching to the Full Site mode?
  • JohanoJohano Member
    edited November 2020 PM
    Wow, tonka bean is really wonderful scenting idea. I recently put one in my homemade coarse and I like it. Despite controversial gossips, @volunge got it right with all the links he provided I guess. None of it is harmful if used only for spice. You would probably have to put huge crazy amount of extract into snuffo and use it orally to overdose it.

    I read that some chefs actually use it in their special menu dishes. Wouldnt mind try some of that stuff actually, the smell alone is gorgeous!
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited November 2020 PM
    Be careful, my friend... But it's too late, frankly - now you know this scent and you will never forget it. You'll notice and instantly recognize it in perfumes, cosmetics and... probably even in other herbs. The coumarin!

    Seriously, it's... a trip!

    And yes, definitely coarse. For some reason tonka doesn't work that well with fine and dry.

    By the way, some old recipes call for the addition of powdered bean. It can be used for flavouring snus, too (1/2 bean for 100 g).
  • Its a matter of time before you get hooked on cinnamon, tonkas and whatnot. Couldnt sip my morn coffee without adding some of that stuff. For flavour, yess sir...
    Oh, I will be honest, coffee and snuff is only an excuse to abuse some more coumarin!!! @-)
  • Ha.  I don't like tonka bean oil per se, but it's nice to add to something that's already plain and sort of spice it up.  Be careful to not overdo it because it might make you dizzy
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