Mood & Environment While Smoking @ Pipe Shows

I have mentioned in the past how there are many variables that can affect the pipe smoking experience.

I also frequently refer to pipe smoking as an experience, because to me that’s what it is … an overall experience that touches on all 5 senses.

You see and feel the tobacco. You smell and taste it, and you can hear the match or lighter, and sometimes the crackling, and hopefully not the gurgle.

Some of the variables that can affect the smoking experience are; time of day, what you ate or didn’t eat, the weather, climate & season, how relaxed or not relaxed you are, and many more not to leave out the obvious; like the tobacco and type of pipe.

I am sitting here at 8:00 AM on a mid-weekday morning smoking Dunhill Early Morning Pipe in my Ardor Giove Ninfea – 114 (YS), and I am thinking back to last year’s Chicago Pipe Show.

I recall sitting in the smoking tent on Sunday afternoon with our Associate Editor Bob Tate and Rick Newcombe (pipe collector and author of In Search of Pipe Dreams). Rick pulled out an aged tin of EMP. I can’t remember how old it was, but I think it was something like 20-years old. He was generous enough to let Bob and I fill up our pipes not once, but twice. I am enjoying the pipe of EMP that I am smoking right now, but I do recall how amazing the very old Early Morning Pipe tobacco was that Rick gave us.

I love the one Ardor pipe that I have. It is that special pipe that no matter what I smoke in it, the tobacco always tastes better in my Ardor.

Then it hit me.

No matter what the pipe or tobacco, every pipe that I smoke while at a pipe show is always more enjoyable.

I think it’s because of the great mood it puts me in to be around hundreds of other brothers and sisters of the briar. Being around tons of pipes and tobaccos helps too.

In today’s world the opportunities to be around other pipe smokers in person, rather than virtually online, are far and few between.

Pipe Shows are truly a wonderful experience.

I know that some of you may have restricted budgets as the economy and jobs market is still not so hot to put it mildly. Plus, many new pipe smokers are 20-something college students on a tight budget. However, I would like to suggest that you do whatever you can to make it to at least one pipe show this year, even if you have to put it on a credit card or borrow money from mom & dad.

An important ingredient to truly living your life is to create experiences that turn into fond memories.

I offer you my personal guarantee that attending a pipe show will do this. If you think smoking your pipe at home while reading this website is enjoyable, I direct you to the lyrics of a ’70’s song (from back in the last heyday of pipe smoking), where Randy Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive sang … ‘You ain’t seen nothin yet. B-, b-, b-, baby, you just ain’t seen na, na, nothin yet. Here’s somethin’ that you’re never gonna forget. B-, b-, b-, baby, you just ain’t seen na, na, nothin yet.’ This is an oldie that some of the younger readers may not be familiar with, so if you’re interested, here you go.

For a list of pipe shows around the country, please visit our Pipe Events page.

Kevin Godbee

Owner / Publisher –
Right Click Media, LLC

12 Responses

  • Hopefully I can convince the wife we need to be in Vegas the first week of November, I would love to attend a pipe-show and discover this phenominon for myself!
    +1 for the BTO reference – always nice to get our CanCon

  • And there’s none better than the Chicago show. Can’t wait to meet up with you and Bob there!

  • I’m looking forward to seeing you Doc! I’ll be making some remarks in the UPCA meeting. Save me a seat. Unfortunately, Bob won’t be making the show this year, so I will be running my butt off.

  • Well I love the music,but since I was in high school at that time it wasnt anything legal in my pipe.A stage I have since grow out of years ago.
    Never been to a pipe show but will have to definately try one this year.

  • Most definitely will be going to the Vegas one again this year. Hope to see you guys there.

  • Kevin,
    The mood is definitely a factor at pipe shows. The Vegas show is great in the fact that attendees can smoke while visiting the various exibitors in the main hall. I will definitely be there this year!
    Other shows that have to resort to “smoking tents” to allow smoking at the show, somewhat dampens the experience of the attendees. They can’t smoke while they shop.
    The exibitors, on the other hand are the ones that suffer. As an exibitor myself, I usually have to be at the table for the whole show, and not being able to indulge in the leaf all day long, really sours the experience. Going out to the tent for an hour isn’t an option.
    The no smoking policy is a double-whammy for exibitors, because an attendee will usually do a quick tour of the hall, find some tobacco samples, then dash out to the tent for an hour or two. This hurts sales because the attendee isn’t looking and possibly buying something. He’s out in the tent with his buddies, and not in the hall. Cool for the pipe smoker, bad for the pipe seller.
    One possible way to avoid the problem is to dispense with the hotel exibit hall entirely, and set up a huge tent in the parking lot next to the hotel, and conduct the whole show “under the big top”. Cirque du soleil does this all the time in large cities.
    Just a thought from my side of the table.
    Cooper Pipes

  • I have come to regard the Chicago show as some kind of pilgrimage I have to make. For now though, I will wait for your videos haha. I stopped by the local shop today for some pipe cleaners and I was talking with the owner about how I never see a pipe smoker around. He said he gets good business but he has never seen a costumer outside of the shop, it is a very, very small city too.

  • “Plus, many new pipe smokers are 20-something college students on a tight budget.”
    Aw ya I got a shout out haha just kidding. I really am a 20-something ‘new’ (a year) pipe smoker on a tight budget.

  • CACooper makes an interesting point about the double whammy for exhibitors at shows that prohibit smoking. However, I disagree to some extent about the problem of smoking tents. When they first introduced the smoking tent, I too thought it was a terrible idea. But then I discovered it forced people to be less clique-ish. You had to sit with people you did not know and so consequently got to meet even more people than I normally we would. I still have fond memories of sitting with a bunch of guys from Poland, whom I had never met, and had a great time with them (they know how to party!)

  • This is a great article and is spot on Kevin!

    I know that almost everything that I smoke when we are at pipe shows tastes better than normal. This is a good and bad thing though :-).
    It is bad because blends that I have smoked at shows never really taste the same when I smoke them at home and I wish that they tasted as good as they did at the shows.
    It is good because I remember that they tasted better at the show and I remember what I was doing when I was smoking that particular blend at a show and it brings back the memories of that time with clarity.

    I also remember smoking the Early Morning Pipe and 965 from Rick. They both tasted amazing! I smoke both of those blends frequently now, but they never taste as good as they did that day in the smoking tent.

    I love going to pipe shows and I agree that every one should try to attend at least one show for the experience. The problem is that once you attend one show, you will always feel the need to attend more. They are an amazing time.

  • As with the experience of any fine thing, the enjoyment of luxury pipe tobacco is as dependent on mood, setting and personal circumstance as much as the quality of the tobacco itself. These things go hand in hand; and while we routinely make do with less than optimum circumstances and still manage to derive a fair measure of enjoyment, an environment of fraternity and camaraderie go a long way toward enhancing the pleasures of the pipe. The original Americans, who gave us the “gift” of tobacco knew this, and its truth is as ancient as it is enduring.