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Homemade Latakia: My failed attempt

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Jitterbugdude

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Building upon the work of others on this forum I decided to try my hand at cracking the Latakia code. Previously, members have tried smoking their leaf but the limiting factor seemed to be a lack of the same wood that is used in Cyprus (and formerly in Syria). So, based on the work of Leffingwell who identified the main constituents in Latakia leaf I purchased a small quantity of Cade oil and Mastic oil.



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Here is my test set up. I took 5 different samples and sprayed each one with Cade oil. I took an additional 5 samples and sprayed them with Mastic oil. Each of these were smoked in a clay pipe. The results were quite dismal. None of the samples came even remotely close to real Latakia. The 5 samples I chose were:

1. Cyprus Tobacco from seed supplied my markw
2. Virginia Brightleaf ( I figured this was bound to fail, but ya never know until you try)
3. Dark Fired (from WLT): I though this might be my best shot because of the smokiness of the leaf.
4. BlueRidge Latakia ( made by Deluxestogie)
5. Prilep (from WLT)

I post this here so that others that may want to pick up the torch will not waste their time with spraying oils onto tobacco leaf.

I did plan a "Phase 2" but decided not to pursue it. I have an "Amazing Smoker" ( not positive of the name). This smoker will produce a cold smoke for 11 hours. My plan was to infuse the wood fuel with Cade oil and then with Mastic oil. I have decided to not try this based on my dismal results of spraying the oils right on the leaf.

I am now officially out of the homemade Latakia business. On a side note though, my basement (where I did all the smoking) had a very nice turpentine smell to it.
 

deluxestogie

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I'm not surprised by your results. The leaf needs to be fire-cured. I believe the spraying the Mastic oil onto a conifer wood source, then firing the leaf with it until it's black (4-6 weeks) would be encouraging.

There's no shortcut to the fire-curing process, but the Mastic oil may be a shortcut to having mastic wood to burn.

Bob
 

Planter

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Despite not resembling Latakia, how did it smoke? I have seen Mastic as a major ingredient in some old time (pipe) tobacco recipes.


If you let the Mastic melt on a hot surface (not smoking it), can you identify its aroma in Latakia?
 

deluxestogie

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I assume that the mastic tree's own oil would be completely combusted when the wood is burned, with only the aromatic essences making it to the tobacco. I would expect that the same thing would happen if the oil were sprayed on a piece of pine that was subsequently burned.

Bob
 

Jitterbugdude

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So you guys are going to twist my arm and make me do Phase 2 ( spraying the oil onto wood and then smoking the leaf)?...maybe this weekend.. we'll see
 

Jitterbugdude

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Hey Planter, Those are some interesting reports but the problem is I basically did what they did. I sprayed Cade oil onto Bright Tobacco and it didn't even remotely taste like Latakia. They diluted their oil with alcohol, which I did not do but I do not think that would make a difference. I might try to vaporize some Mastic Gum in a chamber with Fire Cured Leaf.
 

Planter

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Hence the Birch tar oil, which should have a distinctly smoky smell. Does your Cade oil smell smoky or just like turpentine when you evaporate it on its own?

(Anyway, as far I know both are banned in several European countries as a tobacco additive, but so is Coumarin. In cosmetic products Birch tar still seems to be around).
 

Matty

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Speaking of Phenol, Islay scotch has the most Phenol of scotches. Those who are into scotch will say that Islay is the smokiest.

I'm wondering if any solid residual components of the wood smoke have any impact on Latakia's particular nuances.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Someone who axcess to a lot of it, needs to try juniper, green and all. For North American plants, I think that's our best bet tbh.
 

jolly

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Someone who axcess to a lot of it, needs to try juniper, green and all. For North American plants, I think that's our best bet tbh.

Throw in some sumac. It's in the same family and has a very distinct resinous smell. Test on your skin first before burning as you might be sensitive to it. All these plants, mastic, sumac, cashew, mango -- related to poison ivy. Some people are super sensitive.
 

Jitterbugdude

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The oils I have used so far are based on sound science. With the exception of the Birch Tar Oil they are the oils that have been reported to be in Latakia Leaf when it is analyzed. I seriously doubt all these other woods that have been suggested will do anything and I'm pretty much done playing around with making homemade Latakia. When it warms up a bit I will do one more experiment and that will be to vaporize some Mastic Gum to see if that method will yield anything.
 
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