Miss Sharona asked:

What does one feel about cigar smoking in Aristasia? I am not at all sure how I feel about the matter myself, although I must admit that as a blonde, the idea of a brunette puffing along is rather charming…

Miss Carina answered:

I have known Aristasians-in-Telluria smoke cigars, not only brunettes either, and while I wouldn’t call it charming, there are worse things. I would have thought that it would spoil the taste of the wine, but it seems not; at least, it doesn’t spoil the appetite for it.

Lady Amelia wondered:

Ah, but does the foul weed actually grow within the fair borders of Aristasia? I am utterly hazy about the flora and fauna. There are certain, shall we say, unnecessary plants and creatures which any blonde and many a brunette would gladly banish. But perhaps nothing should be excluded?

Sweet Jutta said:

I only can speak for myself, but I would not need any cigars not for me, neither for anybody else. I find the smoke of cigars very acerb. It makes my eyes water and when the smoke gets cold I hardly can bear the smell of it. So smoking cigars is not very appealing to me. From time to time I oversee an adult brunette whose elegance is emphasized by her smoking of a cigarette. But for blondes I think smoking is just a bad habit and I will refrain from it.

Miss Annya agreed:

I certainly prefer the smell of cigars to that of cigarettes. Cigarettes smell dry and acerbic and not in any way pleasant, while cigars can often smell rich and rather delightful. I am speaking of the smell of other people’s puffers here. Passive smoking is an excellent occupation for the idle blonde. However, she must insist on her smoking-servitors using only the best and most expensive puffers. Pleasant aroma without all the bother of puffing for oneself.

I am afraid my smoking is passive these days since Miss Drusilla and my beastly sister Lindie got together to say they didn’t think a blonde of my years ought to smoke, and my Guardian (who used to be a little indulgent on these matters) agreed. Lindie! One’s own flesh and blood! Et too brutal, what?

Anyway, the Lindie-beast bagged some rather jolly little cigars in America. Vanilla-flavoured and with their own little built-in holders. Including a lovely jewelled cigarette-holder which would convert even the most confirmed non-smoker. Actually, even Lindie only smokes about two a month. After all, smoking is a performance, not an indulgence.

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