Some people just have a certain scent. A scent that goes beyond perfume or aftershave. Oh, those things might be mixed in, but sometimes, there are other notes – in the background to the flowers or the wood.

My dad smelled of Brut, sawdust and dark pipe tobacco.

For the uninitiated, pipe tobacco smells… somewhere between bitter chocolate and bonfires, with perhaps a pinch of oregano. My childhood was often quiet. I had time to study smells.

My godfather also used to smell of pipe tobacco, but since he gave up smoking, he just smells of tumble dryer sheets.

I know, a pleasant memory is a poor reason to waft pipe smoke around, breathing deeply and coughing, but I spent much of my teenage life lighting incense, and I don’t remember a single one entitled ‘Pipe Tobacco’.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’d buy the lot.

There was a great shop in Exeter that sold all kinds of slightly hippy-dippy stuff. The name of it escapes me. I think it closed some years back, but they had half a wall of incense sticks, several thousand candles, beads and those Chinese Baoding balls.


They had didgeridoos, lava lamps, giant vases, hammocks and lord knows what else.

There was nothing that smelt like pipe tobacco but otherwise, it was great.