Parliament Cigarettes

Tiffany Case is a smart lady. Naturally, her cigarette of choice would be Parliaments. Or at least that is what the advertising of that decade would’ve suggested.

In Diamonds Are Forever, as Bond and Tiffany arrive (together but separate) at Idlewild, Tiffany shows that she might be a little nervous.

THE customs officer, a paunchy good-living man with dark sweat marks at the armpits of his grey uniform shirt, sauntered lazily over from the Supervisor’s desk to where Bond stood, his three pieces of luggage in front of him, under the letter B. Next door, under C, the girl took a packet of Parliaments out of her bag and put a cigarette between her lips. Bond heard several impatient clicks at the lighter, and the sharper snap as she put the lighter back in her bag and closed the fastening. Bond felt aware of her watchfulness.

Bond references this incident when they are at dinner, in response to Tiffany’s teasing of him. He mentions the Parliament brand by name, and then a few minutes later, things are getting a little serious between them, and Tiffany needs to distract herself again.

She picked up her third Martini and looked at it. Then very slowly, in three swallows, she drank it down. She put down the glass and took a Parliament out of the box beside her plate and bent towards the flame of Bond’s lighter.

The “gimmick” with Parliaments was the recessed filter. The paper end of the cigarette extended about 1/4 inch past the filter, making a gap between the end of the cigarette and the filter. It was suggested that this was a “smart choice” because the smoker’s mouth would not touch the filter, and theoretically would not absorb as much tar from the cigarette.

In The Spy Who Loved Me, Vivienne Michel enjoys a Parliament while settling in for her planned evening alone.

Then I pulled the most comfortable armchair over from the reception side of the room to stand beside the radio, turned the radio up, lit a Parliament from the last five in my box, took a stiff pull at my drink, and and curled myself into the armchair.

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Bourbon

This page will be updated as we go through the novels)

This Kentucky-based barrel-aged whisky seems to be a Bond staple when abroad.

bourbon-barrelsAn observation can be made about Bond’s drinking preferences and habits. He’ll drink a martini at a bar or restaurant or when in company, while when drinking alone or in his hotel room, he often has bourbon.

He has a few favorite brands that are specifically mentioned throughout the series. These each have their own page:

I.W. Harper’s
Jack Daniels (coming)
Walker’s DeLuxe
Old Grandad
Virginia Gentleman

Here are other references to Bond drinking Bourbon throughout the series.

In Live and Let Die, Bond orders Old Fashions on the Silver Phantom, stipulating Old Grandad Bourbon. Before meeting up with The Robber, he has a quarter of a pint of Old Grandad with his steak dinner, and  later has two double Old Grandads on the rocks while preparing to leave Tampa.

Throughout Diamonds are Forever, Bond consumes Bourbon and Bourbon and Branch water.

The opening chapter of Goldfinger is entitled REFLECTIONS IN A DOUBLE BOURBON and Bond has several before heading out with Mr Dupont.

In Thunderball, after finding the plane, Bond goes back to his room and orders a “club sandwich and double bourbon on the rocks” before phoning Domino.

In The Spy Who Loved Me, Vivienne Michel is consuming the last of her bottle of Virginia Gentleman bourbon as the story gets going.

In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, while at Piz Gloria, Bond sits next to Ruby at dinner, who is having a Daiquiri, and Bond orders a double Bourbon on the rocks.

After Tracy gives Bond a detailed description of what she had for dinner, Bond tells her over the phone that “I had two ham sandwiches with stacks of mustard and half a pint of Harper’s Bourbon on the rocks.The bourbon was better than the ham.”

When Bond meets Marc-Ange to discuss the commando job on Piz Gloria, he “poured himself a stiff Jack Daniel’s sourmash bourbon on the rocks and added some water.”

In You Only Live Twice, Bond, while at the Miyako hotel in Kyoto, Bond orders “a pint of Jack Daniels and a double portion of eggs Benedict to be brought up to his room.”

Fleming himself preferred bourbon to scotch. He had the notion that it was somehow better for his heart as he explained to Richard Hughes: ‘The muscles expand under bourbon; Dikko, but they contract under scotch. ‘ He also suggested that bourbon counteracted the ill-effects of the nicotine in the many cigarettes that he smoked each day. (Foreign Devil: Thirty Years Of Reporting In The Far East by Richard Hughes)

Sadly, history proves out that Mr Fleming’s theories were perhaps not accurate in this case, at least.

Someone’s Rocking My Dreamboat

Ian Fleming made a bold experiment in The Spy Who Loved Me, writing the novel from the perspective of the heroine of the story, rather than from that of James Bond.

He does it quite well, writing with the detail and emotion of a woman of that time. “Vivienne Michel” recalls:

WOKO announced forty minutes of “Music to Kiss By” and suddenly there were the Ink Spots singing “Someone’s Rockin’ My Dream Boat,” and I was back on the River Thames and it was five summers ago and we were drifting down past Kings Eyot in a punt and there was Windsor Castle in the distance and Derek was paddling while I worked the portable. We only had ten records, but whenever it came to be the turn of the Ink Spots’ L.P. and the record got to “Dream Boat,” Derek would always plead, “Play it again, Viv,” and I would have to go down on my knees and find the place with the needle.

WOKO is a station in Burlington, VT, which now plays country music. Here is the song by the Ink Spots that Ms. Michel so fondly recalls:

Virginia Gentleman Bourbon

In The Spy Who Love Me, when Vivienne Michel is settling in for her intended evening of memories of her life, she prepares by pouring a drink.

There was just one good drink left in the quart of Virginia Gentleman bourbon that had already lasted me two weeks, and I filled one of the best cut-glass tumblers with ice cubes and poured the bourbon over them, shaking the bottle to get out the last drop.

Virginia Gentleman is a brand produced by the A. Smith Bowman Distillery. This article will tell you just about everything you need to know about Virginia Gentleman bourbon, including why it is true bourbon despite being distilled in Virginia, and not Kentucky.

The page notes that since it is from Virginia, and popular around Washington D.C., that:

For foreign ambassadors and distinguished guests of our country who may have tasted only one bourbon in their lives, Virginia Gentleman could well have been that bourbon.

We know Ian Fleming tasted plenty of bourbon in his life, but given his wartime visits, it’s proximity to Washington D.C. might’ve made it one of his earlier brands.

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The above images which date from the 1950’s, show two gentlemen being served by an African-American slave. The label was updated in later years to a more acceptable image.

Chesterfield Cigarettes

This American brand of cigarette pops up throughout the Bond novels.

In Casino Royale, it is the brand that American agent Felix Leiter is smoking. As they get together for their first drink.

Leiter shook at Chesterfield out of his pack. ‘I’m glad to be working with you on this job,’ he said, looking into his drink

Bond then assesses Leiter.

His grey eyes had a feline slant which was increased by his habit of screwing them up against the smoke of the Chesterfields, which he tapped out of the pack in a chain.

In Live and Let Die, Bond twice is cited as smoking Chesterfield Kings, first at the St Regis while contemplating events that brought him to his present assignment, and then while on the Silver Phantom with Solitaire.

Bond slit open a fresh pack of King Size  Chesterfields with his thumb-nail, as he settled back in his comfortable chair in the warm luxurious room, his mind went back two weeks to the bitter raw day in early January when he had walked out of his Chelsea flat into the dreary half-light of a London fog.

On the train:

He dug in his pocket for his cigarettes and lighter. It was a new pack of Chesterfields and with his right hand he scrabbled at the cellophane wrapper.

Solitaire ends up opening the pack, removing a cigarette and lighting it for him. He tells her she’s going to be busy because he smokes three packs a day.

Interestingly, in Diamonds Are Forever, which takes place largely in America, we’re not told which brand Bond is smoking. He could’ve brought enough of his Morland Specials to make it through the trip, I suppose. Tiffany Case smokes her Parliaments throughout.

In Goldfinger, Bond returns to America, and he is back with his Chesterfields. When he is a guest of Mr Du Pont he starts his day as follows.

He went back into the bedroom, picked up the telephone and ordered himself a delicious, wasteful breakfast, a carton of king-sized Chesterfields and the newspapers.

He holds out the pack of Chesterfields to Jill Masterton when he meets her and she accepts one.

Then, later in the book when Bond is a guest/prisoner of Goldfinger, he enjoys bossing Oddjob around.

Oddjob, I want a lot of food, quickly. And a bottle of bourbon, soda and ice. Also a carton of Chesterfields, king-size, and either my own watch or another one as good as mine. Quick march! Chop-chop!

When Bond learns the details of Goldfinger’s plan, “he reached inside his coat pocket for the Chesterfields and lit one.”

Then, as again a prisoner of Goldfinger, he refuses to talk until his demands are met.

We will have a talk, Goldfinger. And I will tell you certain things. But not until you have taken off these straps and brought me a bottle of bourbon, ice, soda water and a packet of Chesterfields. Then, when you have told me what I wish to know, I will decide what to tell you.

When Bond locates Domino in Nassau during Thunderball, she is buying cigarettes, and actually trying to find one that will convince her to stop smoking. Bond recommends Dukes. He orders them, and she objects:

But Bond had already paid for the carton and for a packet of Chesterfields for himself.

When Bond returns to America in The Spy Who Loved Me, he offers Viv a cigarette after she offers to make him some scrambled eggs.

‘Have one? Senior Service. I suppose it’ll have to be Chesterfields from now on.’ His mouth turned slightly down as he smiled.

In 007 in New York, Bond again has his Chesterfields.

James Bond sat back and lit one of his last Morland Specials. By lunchtime it would be king-size Chesterfields.

Originally produced by the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, the brand was sold in 1999 to Philip Morris, and while still being produced, is more popular in Europe these days. During the 1940’s and 50’s Chesterfield was a major sponsor of television programs, and their advertisements were plentiful, many featuring major movie stars and athletes of the day.

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