Tasting Tobacco Is Mostly For Me Over Retrohale

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huckleberry

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 12, 2017
231
623
Kentucky
Most people well readily admit to losing flavor when they lose the sense of smell through surgery, COVID, accident, etc. Even most people with a strong sinus head cold readily admit to losing appetite, food tastes bland. We learned about sense of taste and smell in the seventh or eighth grade back in the day. I'm guessing the last few generations didn't have the benefit of a great health class or, writing for that matter. You gotta have the nose and tongue working together for full flavor. This is simply true whether you believe it or not. As some above stated, pinching the nose will reduce flavor, significantly.

Smokers, unless they keep the tongue clean, never really get full flavor.
Exactly what I was taught!
 
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Davy

Can't Leave
Nov 22, 2022
324
882
I very rarely expel the smoke through my nostrils. The tongue is the main organ for tasting and I can taste the tobacco I'm smoking plenty with it.
 

FLDRD

Lifer
Oct 13, 2021
1,840
6,980
Arkansas
I do not believe this to be accurate, sir.

Have you ever held your nose closed to swallow something and avoid tasting it?

Hold your nose shut the next time you eat that steak. Or anything for that matter. I'm certain that delicious steak will become noticeably less flavorful as a result.

+1 for the retrohale. For the flavor, yes. But also for the "nose hit/tingle" sensation as well. For me, some blend components (i.e. Perique, DFK) seem to invoke it more than others. And when I retrohale I handle (control?) the smoke in such a way so as to include it in the experience. With practice, you learn to throttle the nose tingle. Surely I'm not alone in this.
(Am I?)
The nose is involved even without retrohaling, and I've never seen anyone smoking with their nose pinched shut. Hence, it's involved - even for those who don't purposefully "snork".
That being said, it took me some while before I could actively retrohale, and the concentrated action does change the perception for me; sometimes appreciated more, sometimes less.
 
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sardonicus87

Lifer
Jun 28, 2022
1,175
12,403
37
Lower Alabama
The nose is involved even without retrohaling, and I've never seen anyone smoking with their nose pinched shut. Hence, it's involved - even for those who don't purposefully "snork".
That being said, it took me some while before I could actively retrohale, and the concentrated action does change the perception for me; sometimes appreciated more, sometimes less.
This, along with some that others said.

Even if you don't retrohale or blow out your nose, flavors do creep up into the back of your nose, it's unavoidable unless you completely close off the nasopharynx, which you can't really do. This is a well known scientific fact about taste perception:

Retrohaling is just purposely pumping the smoke up in this area to varying degrees to get stronger and more concentrated retronasal scents than you'd otherwise get with the smoke sitting just in your mouth. And it doesn't have to come out of the nose, you can pipe some smoke in and blow out both the mouth and nose, or can pipe in a lot, or blow completely out the nose. But even without retrohale, some of those volatile scent compounds WILL go up into the back of your nose, even if the smoke itself doesn't (or doesn't much).

Pinching your nose shut deadens, but doesn't eliminate, flavor. The effect is probably similar to sticking a straw in a liquid and then capping the end with your finger, when you lift out the straw, liquid stays in until you release your finger, then it falls out.
 
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proteus

Lifer
May 20, 2023
1,288
2,203
53
Connecticut (shade leaf tobacco country)
I do a half retro. Anosmia occurs when your nose is overloaded by a fragrance. I've worked with industrial fragrance compounds that were so strong if you opened the bottle and took a whiff you couldn't smell anything. But let one drop get on a paper and you smelled it across the room. Some fragrance is always smelled diluted for best results. One drop you could smell but two you could not. I get more fragrance and flavors from small whiffs and inadvertent retrohale from playing with small amounts of smoke in nose and mouth; the last remaining bits of smoke wafting through my senses.
 

EchoPlex

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 9, 2023
131
919
I do a half retro. Anosmia occurs when your nose is overloaded by a fragrance. I've worked with industrial fragrance compounds that were so strong if you opened the bottle and took a whiff you couldn't smell anything. But let one drop get on a paper and you smelled it across the room. Some fragrance is always smelled diluted for best results. One drop you could smell but two you could not. I get more fragrance and flavors from small whiffs and inadvertent retrohale from playing with small amounts of smoke in nose and mouth; the last remaining bits of smoke wafting through my senses.

To your point - I don't force the retrohale with a full closure of the mouth, but rather it just sort of happens naturally where small percentage is snorked and exhaled through the mouth simultaneously. This is a flavor bomb method for me. If I full-on snork with my mouth closed the flavor is MUCH subdued and seems to overwhelm the senses for a minute or two, though I do love the sensation of full-snork, especially the "good burn" horseradishy sensation periques give. I'll mix it up, but some form of retrohale is essential to my experience.

Related to smoking/snorking, can anyone explain why it feels like I have a super sense of smell after a smoke session? I notice it every time. It's like I have the nose of a bloodhound and am smelling the freshest air/richest food/whatever immediately after I smoke. It lasts maybe a minute or two then quickly fades. It's one of my favorite aftereffects of smoking. You'd think it would be the opposite and I would lose some sense of smell temporarily. I'm guessing it's just being overwhelmed by one smell for a long period of time, then removing it. Interestingly, this never happened years ago when I smoked cigarettes or cigars. Only pipes.
 
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proteus

Lifer
May 20, 2023
1,288
2,203
53
Connecticut (shade leaf tobacco country)
To your point - I don't force the retrohale with a full closure of the mouth, but rather it just sort of happens naturally where small percentage is snorked and exhaled through the mouth simultaneously. This is a flavor bomb method for me. If I full-on snork with my mouth closed the flavor is MUCH subdued and seems to overwhelm the senses for a minute or two, though I do love the sensation of full-snork, especially the "good burn" horseradishy sensation periques give. I'll mix it up, but some form of retrohale is essential to my experience.

Related to smoking/snorking, can anyone explain why it feels like I have a super sense of smell after a smoke session? I notice it every time. It's like I have the nose of a bloodhound and am smelling the freshest air/richest food/whatever immediately after I smoke. It lasts maybe a minute or two then quickly fades. It's one of my favorite aftereffects of smoking. You'd think it would be the opposite and I would lose some sense of smell temporarily. I'm guessing it's just being overwhelmed by one smell for a long period of time, then removing it. Interestingly, this never happened years ago when I smoked cigarettes or cigars. Only pipes.
Can't say for sure. I have personally noticed clearer breathing after smoking straight virginia or burley. Could be that your congestion levels went down and are no longer blocking smell receptors. But I'm no MD. But I've experienced the same thing.
 
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denholrl

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 27, 2011
104
204
Is it the same for you guys? On my tongue maybe I taste bitter or sweet and maybe sour. (Very decent taste though) but if I blow out the smoke through my nose.... this is where the different tastes come out. I can taste nuances and get what people review and write my own review. But with my tongue... not a lot going on.
What's your experience?
I sometimes get different flavors but mostly I notice a greater richness when I combine mouth and nose.
 
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