Clean meerschaum when the holder is cool - not directly after use. Gently unscrew the holder from the mouthpiece - the mouthpiece can be cleaned with sweetener, but we do not recommend using sweetener inside (or outside) the meerschaum barrel.
Mme. has the interior of her meerschaums cleaned with a bit of good brandy on a plush polishing wand, leaving it to dry thoroughly before the next use. (This is especially nice for the longer meerschaum holders with one or several screw joins.)
Some meerschaum enthusiasts prefer only a completely dry wand. Tastes vary, and you might try either method, but the beeswax polished exterior of the holder should be cleaned, infrequently, with a very soft dry cloth.
(A word to the wise: Don't eat strawberries while using a meerschaum cigarette holder. She'll stain quite badly. Don't ask how we know. We wish we did not.)
Meerschaum is, arguably, the finest material - natural or otherwise - with which to smoke tobacco. The porosity ensures a clean and cool smoke, a truly velvet draw, and the natural filtering of smoke results in a unique finish with time and use. (Meerschaum 'ripens' to a rich golden honey colour, emphasizing the detail with which it is carved.)
Meerschaum cigarette holders, cigar holders and smoking pipes are exceptionally collectible, but some care should be taken in selection. Pressed meerschaum, made from powdered meerschaum end pieces and vegetable glue, is inexpensive. (It would not be remiss to say that it is, in fact, cheap. In every sense.) Block meerschaum, on the other hand, can be terribly dear. We've chosen to carry only block meerschaum, though we have opted not to carry the more intricate carving styles in an effort to offer exceptional quality at a reasonable cost. (Frankly, we think meerschaum is delightful even left smooth.)
Meerschaum - (meer-shawm) German for "sea foam" and used interchangeably with sepiolite and aphrodite, a quite rare porous mineral mined in Turkey.
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