Best place for a guilt-free smoke|
These are dark days for smokers. Hounded from public spaces, ostracized by society, waiting for signs of carcinogenic doom, choked with guilt, they struggle to cling to their habit with dignity. One of the last refuges remains at the L.J. Peretti Company, a tobacconist serving Boston since 1870. This isn't just someplace to go and get your daily fix of Marlboro Lights, but to indulge in more chic brands such as Shepherd's Hotel from Germany, or Treasurer from England. Peretti appeals to the more discerning smoker: offering the largest selection of cigars, cigarettes, and pipe tobacco (250,000 custom-made blends are available) in New England, it was deemed one of the world's top tobacconists by Forbes magazine. "Our clientele cuts across all categories," says vice-president and co-owner Stephen Willett, "from 20-year-old Emerson students rolling their own cigarettes to prominent Yankee Bostonians." Among the famous customers who've browsed the old-fashioned Park Square location for its aromatic ambiance, superb products, and knowledgeable staff have been Bing Crosby, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, and John Travolta. Reminded that all those customers save Travolta are dead, Willett, a pipe and cigar smoker, says, "Smoking should be a pleasure and not an addiction. If you smoke a good cigar, you don't want another one right away."
L.J. Peretti Company, 2 1/2 Park Square, Boston, (800) 797-9LPJ; www.ljperetti.com.