Did no-one smoke these? My girlfriends Patricia did from time to time. They were fairly popular I think - especially when
one had a sore throat. Are smokers mad? I used to smoke these and other light or menthol ciggies when I had a cold! Madness!
Paul Marioni has kindly sent me this picture of a packet of Gauloises "papier maïs". What memories! Mostly unpleasant ones.
During the entire life of Les Enfants Terribles it seemed to be the norm to smoke; non-smokers were regarded with suspicion
and perhaps fear? They were certainly considered a little odd and definitely eccentric. Funnily enough I believe Jean-Claude never smoked
but I don't remember any other non-smokers. Every little table had it's little ashtray and they had to be emptied pretty often. The candles
in their bottles had to remain lit and the puddles of wax on the tables cleaned up. It was always crowded in the evenings so the
waiters' job couldn't have been easy and they really couldn't have made much money - or did they?
This is an example of what I mean...
Although my smoking career began early and I think with fags nicked from my mothers purse I eventually ended up
a dedicated Gitanes fan. Just loved everything about them. I must have settled to the brand some time around the
the same time I discovered Les Enfants. A coincidence?
I can remember smoking Embassy, which was my mother's brand, John Player Special, Dunhill, Prince
, Camel and Pall Mall - oh and of course Sobranie Black Russian but that was surely in my early teens when we'd
gatecrash all kinds of parties including once some fancy affair to do with the Festival of London (?) it was definitely
at that place on the river anyway!
Jonny I think smoked Gauloises filter-tipped and was not put off by the expression "clopes au tampax" but I definitely was - didn't want
to stick anything even remotely connected with the "curse" in my mouth! No, but really those soft, often soggy white filters were quite disgusting. Makes me shiver still
and I haven't had a smoke in 21 years today! Yep I quit 12 noon, 4th July 1990. Or rather I put out a cigarette and haven't lit another since - never
did stop. The pack, not empty by any means and the matches were with us for quite a few years before being disposed of because it just
contained old dust. So no, I didn't give up smoking nor stop but just delayed lighting the next one for so far 21 years. Still miss it mind you.
On special occasions, whatever they may have been, I'd buy Celtiques. I'm convinced there was another powerful brand but I can't for the life of me remember
what it was. The "papier maïs" varieties I never got on with as they'd always go out and you'd have to relight them and relight they tasted weird - not
too nice as I recall.
Of course! Boyards! A real mouthful they were. I wonder who they were made for? Steel and asbestos lungs were required I think as they were both hot and powerful
containing enough tar in each packet to resurface the length of Dean St. But I think I liked them! It must be said that the smell of caporal tobacco is
far sweeter and alluring than that of the virgina variety. Bit like the Dutch pipe tobacco in that sense except the caporal cigarettes tasted
good too - could never get on with tht Dutch pipe tobacco - l did like my Baby's Bottom - a genuine brand I assure you.
Jonny's found this brand:
St Michel used to be advertised on RTL as “la cigarette bien connue aux fumeurs Belges”.
...and this brand
...and this brand tipped
...and marketed in Switzerland
I've failed miserably to find a picture of the first French gas-lighter - my big bruvver brought one home from France around 1960 I think. That model I believe was
called "Cricket"; coming from France that was a very odd name come to think of it. This is the
closest model to it I could find and it's from much later. The petrol lighters; particularly the Zippo and the original Dunhill had some class but the new gas-lighters
even fitted into the cigarette packets once you'd smoked a few.
Now I've found (actually presented with by a friend) what may well be a Cricket lighter though it's called a "Stick - Made in France! on the bottom.
Any opinions? It looks very much like one, doesn't it? But I'm somehow not sure as I'd have thought it'd have said "Cricket" on the bottom.
Les briquets à gaz sont les plus courants : produits en quantité industrielle dès les années 1960, notamment par le fabricant Cricket et plus tard Bic,
ils consistent pour la plupart à provoquer l'ignition d'un gaz inflammable, souvent du butane.
This, as the French say, must be the apotheosis of the disposible lighters. Perfection indeed. One of its leading characteristics was that it was so cheap.
I really don't know how many gold and silver Dupont and Dunhill lighters I've owned and had stolen - at least two were stolen because I was
careless and I learnt an invaluable lesson - if you don't have anything to steal, nobody'll try and steal it!
Right then so this is a typical silver Dupont of the period...
...and this a typical silver Dunhill.
And how did we light our fags? That's a real chapter of its own that is. Matches? This was the age of the book-match and they really were practical
but there was no real style to them, was there? Swan Vesta's were fun as they could be struck on any surface and the real cool cats could even strike
them on their thumb nails - we'd seen that in the cowboy films but I could never do it - got nice red stripes on my jeans though from striking along the seam.
Bryant & Mays? Well you might as well bring a household box for the kudos they'd give you!
And of course pockets were in short supply in those days and a bookmatch took very little room - bumped into some American sailors in a pub one day and
saw they kept their cigarettes in their socks! Well I was sold, wasn't I? Had to be a soft pack, like Gauloises or in their case, Camel, but saved carrying a hand bag!
And before we go just a mention of the very popular German brand HB. Well not popular at Les Enfants as far as I remember but they were
big in Germany - we didn't get too many German tourists - does anyone remember why that might have been?