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Classic Tin-Same Great Taste

WoS Inconsistency

expersexpers Member
This has been mentioned before on here, I just want to add in my own experience to this.  First few tins of Grand Cairo I received had a strong lavender scent (among the other scents), I grew to like the scent so much I ordered it in bulk, and this bulk container has absolutely no detectable lavender, it's like a different snuff altogether.  I just had the same thing happen with Gold Label, in the past tins I've received (several) they had a strong what I'd describe as rose scent, not quite as strong as Rows of Sharrow, but definitely present, this current tin ordered a year later has almost no detectable rose scent at all.  I even took a long break from both and stuck with plain snuffs, just in case it was a case of my scent receptors muting out the scent from overexposure, but no change.  It seems a real shame that they don't seem to practice much quality control over there, I love their snuffs but it's such a disappointment not getting the scent I've grown familiar to and fallen in love with.


  • I think these are the two that Wilson's have publicly acknowledged are the hardest to source ingredients for. They also get hyped up online (along with Irish #22) as being the best of the WoS lineup and are often recommended to newbies. It's certainly possible that the recipe gets tweaked to be able to meet demand.
  • volungevolunge Member
    I never detected neither lavender scent in Grand Cairo nor rose in Gold Label, and I am familiar with both scents (had over 100 g of Rows and made my own snuffs scented with rose and lavender oils). The Grand Cairo I know is spicy citruss potpourri, whereas Gold Label is bay (laurel) leaf + citrus + something floral.

    But I hear you. I have noticed that the quality of WoS SP-type snuffs have diminished. I think they use inferior tobaccos as of late (first noticed changed base flour 2 or 1.5 years ago). Also, I noticed the incosistency of flavouring in their side M&W range (since it "escaped" from Covent Garden).
  • I'm still heartbroken about a similar occurrence with McChrystal's. I fell MADLY in love with S'Nuff Smoker's Blend. It was a bergamot bomb that harmonized well with a sort of smoky essence.  I bought 800g.... and it's nothing like that first scent I fell in love with.  I could almost mistake it for O&G... it's all camphor and no bergamot!  I emailed McChrystal's to ask if they changed the recipe and they hadn't.  I thought maybe it was mislabled, but when I take them side-by-side I can tell they're different after all.
  • HuysmansHuysmans Member
    edited June 25 PM
    I had a tin of Grand Cairo that was made in 2020 that had a much more pronounced lemon top note in it than the 2019 batch I bought. I recently bought a 2021 250g tub and in that the citrus and floral was nicely balanced and a much better experience for me than the 2020 tin. The tub is also very fresh and has a lot of ammonia in it when I take out a pile for my snuff box but this soon dissipates.

    PS I noticed on threads here going back a number of years that Grand Cairo can vary from batch to batch. Perhaps it's a feature of that snuff I can only guess.
  • Would it not be better to contact WOS re your complaint, nothing will be achieved complaining on here.
  • expersexpers Member
    @volunge I don't recall where but I've seen rose listed as an ingredient for Gold Label.  I personally never noticed it in my first two 25g tins from 2019 either, but my 3 25g tins from 2020 were both unmistakably full of rose, and I've had Rows of Sharrow myself so definitely the same scent.  This latest 25g tin of GL is like neither of the previous two orders, it lacks of the rich darkness of the first 2 tins, and has no rose like the last 3 tins, it's rather ... dull.  Though I will mention the tin wasn't overflowing like I'm used to with Wilsons, so perhaps it was just old and stale and I just got unlucky with Mr Snuff unloading old stock on me.

    With Grand Cairo the first couple 25g were definitely full of lavender, which I disliked at first but it grew on me, but seemed to not align with what I'd read about the scents in GC.  I then bought a lb of the stuff, and it's lacking a lot in any scent at all, just mildly 'exotic', but rather boring, which is disappointing as I thought I'd have the best shot of fresh full scent buying bulk.

    @street carp Yeah this may be a factor, seems Wilsons is a little loose with adhering to strict recipes, or it's a case of mislabeling.  It's odd as these recipes are hundreds of years old in the case of GC and GL at least, you'd expect they would be a little more strict in adhering to it.. or perhaps cost of ingredients affects small tweaks they hope will be imperceptible to the average consumer.

    Lesson learned though, I'll never buy Wilsons in bulk again, and another lesson is to avoid reading the purple prose poetry creative writing fan fiction that is passed off as reviews on most snuffs.  "wisps of apricot blossom, honey dew dropped juniper drizzled with manuka honey, this snuff takes you to a magical place, of autumn, and childhood, and happiness, where rainbows treacle joy into your heart with each sniff.  Buy!"
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited July 12 PM
    @expers, thanks for sharing your experience. What was the mfg code on the bottom of your last Gold Label tin (if you still have it)? Last two digits stand for mfg year.

    I would say, the new non-airtight shrink band seal is partly to blame for the drop in WoS quality. Judging by mfg code, my 20 g Best SP tin arrived fresh, but way drier than it used to be. It's a shame they stopped sealing their tins with tape... Really sad.

    And just a bold guess - for some reason WoS might be mixing their snuffs, at least sometimes. Maybe Rows stock was moving too slow at some point and they had cut it with (perhaps) better selling Gold Label. Or - more likely - accidentally used same sieve for sifting two different snuffs (I believe that every scented snuff has its own dedicated sieve).
  • n9inchnailsn9inchnails Moderator
    Could be cross contamination from how they store it in the factory, I know SG stores their pipe tobacco in piles just sitting next to each other with nothing at all to stop cross contamination, if WoS stores their snuff in a similar way you can expect cross contamination.
  • expersexpers Member
    edited July 13 PM
    @volunge 231 20A
    Mine have always had the hard clear plastic shrink band, but I've only been ordering since 2019, so I'm not familiar with the change but maybe that plays a role. The others I've ordered seem fine on the other hand. So this gold label would have been manufactured in 2020? Not excessively old, but definitely dried out, and no scent beyond the tobacco

    @n9inchnails Yeah maybe that's what happened with the rose-scented orders.. just as an aside, the little bit of rose mixed with gold label is absolutely fantastic, guess I'll have to blend it myself with rows of sharrow.  I find rows of sharrow a bit too sweet for my liking, but mixed with the darker fantastic tobacco of gold label creates a wonderful scent, especially when outside on a summer day.
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