Taking snuff , which means snuffing a tiny quantity of powdered tobacco has inspired ,under Louis XV, elaborated treatises teaching the way of taking tobacco, such as "les règles de la bienséance et de la chrétienneté " (rules of propriety and christianity) but also treatises related to their execution.
Taking snuff required specific tools such as a tobacco grinder and a snuff box but taking snuff , the right movement to do so or the proper way to offer tobacco, was a matter for a codified art by people of noble birth who passed on this elementary knowledge to anyone in polite society.
The movement was even more elegant when it was affected and the preciosity of the ritual, reflecting the preciosity of the object and the owner "ranked" him/her , that is to say showed his/her rank at the top of the ladder of social values and goods.
La prise bourgeoise
Therefore, in his "accessoires et coutumes du mobilier" (accessories and customs of personal property), the historian Henri d'Allemagne relates the "exercice de la tabatière" (exercise of the snuff box):
To take snuff, people of noble birth were meant to tap on the lid, take a few grains with the tip of their slender fingers, to make a slight gesture and to inhale the powder with ecstasy.
On the contrary, the countryman digged his thumb and forefinger inside the snuff box in order to take out a large pinch of tobacco, putting it on the back of his left hand and snorted it in a noisy way while rubbing his nose.
La prise populaire 
Anyway, it was polite to offer a pinch of snuff to the person you were drinking with, to a neighbour or a friend you had come accross...The person offering presented his open snuff box from which a pinch of snuff was taken between the thumb and forefinger before sniffing some of it in one nostril and the rest in the other nostril.
"Sniffing" referred to the gesture made by the thumb on each side of the nose in order to enable the right quantity of snuff to penetrate and to get rid of the surplus.
When using the "secouette" (shaker snuff box), the snuff taker used his anatomical snuff box by bending his right forearm facing his chest and then raised his thumb, which created a kind of hollow between the two tendons linked to the wrist, a hollow in which, using his left hand, he poured some snuff from the spout of his snuff box. Then he had to tap on the spout and the whole art consisted in avoiding sprinking tobacco over his clothes... Once he had done so, he only had to sniff the tobacco with each of his nostrils.
Here after is shown the right way to take snuff as described in the magazine "la gazette de Venise" dated 1760:
-Take the snuff box within right hand
-Put it in your left hand
-Tap on the snuff box
-Open the snuff box
-Present the snuff box to the company
-Gather the tobacco in the snuff box by taping on its side
-Take a pinch of tobacco with your right hand
-Keep it between your fingers before taking it to the nose
-Present the tobacco to the nose
-Sniff with accuracy with your two nostrils
-Do not show an ugly face
-Clutch the snuff box, close the lid
-Sneeze, spit, blow your nose.
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