James Bond’s Morland cigarettes


James Bond’s usual cigarette was the same as Ian Fleming, handmade by Morland & Co. with no filter and with the distinctive triple gold band that made them so distinctive.

The Morland cigarettes are variously described by Fleming as a Balkan and Turkish mixture; a Macedonian blend; or a Balkan mixture; and stored in a black gunmetal cigarette case that Fleming describes variously as flat and wide, which Bond carries in his hip pocket.

Although this might have referred to his jacket pocket, Diamonds Are Forever proves that it was his trouser pocket; after losing his jacket he reaches into his right-hand hip pocket and finds his cigarette case is missing too.

Fleming describes the case in Casino Royale as holding fifty, but it seems difficult to imagine carrying such as large cigarette case in his trouser pocket and it doesn’t seem to be a size of cigarette case that was usual either. Perhaps that is why in a US edition of the short story Octopussy Major Dexter Smyth notes that Bond’s cigarette case was large enough for around twenty-five, although the original version notes that it holds “a round fifty”. Did the US editor find a such a cigarette case hard to imagine?

Morland’s James Bond Special No. 1

Morland & Co. no longer exists, but was located at 83 Grosvenor Street in London. Thanks to the raised profile of Morland cigarettes brought about by the James Bond books the company obtained Fleming’s permission to produce a James Bond Special with the distinctive gold bands. These were sold in elegant and rather sturdy blue boxes of fifty or 100 with the Morland & Co. logo elaborately made out in gold leaf on the top.

Two versions were produced, both with and without the addition of the name “James Bond” on each cigarette and the inside lid of the box announced “James Bond Special No. 1 The Exclusive Balkan Cigarette” as well as “By Permission of IAN FLEMING”. Purchasers were also supplied with a book of matches advertising the James Bond specials.

Although Morland & Co. continued to sell the Special No. 1 after Fleming’s death in 1964 (brought about a lifetime of heaving drinking and smoking), it closed at some point during the late 1960s or early 1970s. However, some surviving examples continue to be available today on eBay.

You can read more about James Bond’s smoking habits here

Health Warning: This article is provided for the purposes of education and entertainment and is not not intended to promote smoking. The dangers of smoking are well known and society’s attitudes towards smokers have changed massively since Ian Fleming was writing his books. If you want to smoke, I’m not going to stop you. But don’t start smoking just because James Bond did; heavy drinking and smoking sent Fleming to an early grave.

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One Response to “James Bond’s Morland cigarettes”

  • Robert Harland

    Morland was still in business in 1970 as my office was in the same building that year and I always bought my cigarettes from Ms. Cohen. I think she retired in 1972.

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