The Gauloises are internationally appreciated for being strong. Initially, they were short, unfiltered and wide while the dark snuff was brought from Turkey and Syria. The distinctive smell of the cigarettes was sometimes associated with the smell of burning tar by non-smokers.
Gauloises are considered a French icon although they have been manufactured by Imperial Tobacco in Spain since 2008 , after the acquisition of Altadis, the French concern. The unfiltered version appeared in 1910 and 40 years later, the filtered version became available. In 1984 the brand was relaunched and brought to Americans as Gauloises Blondes - a blend that contained less tar and which was packaged in red or golden packs.
The name of the cigarettes is believed to have tangency with various mythological and historic events. The French claim that the name originated from Gaul , a territory now encompassing France which withstood Roman pressure for a long time. In the age of World Wars smoking Gauloises in France, became a matter of patriotism and affiliation to French values.
Frequently, the brand is connected to intellectual elite and figures representing the world of artists: Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, John Lennon , George Orwell etc. Smoking Gauloises was also considered to be a contribution to the national welfare, with a considerable proportion of profit gained from the Gauloises sales going to various beneficial projects.
At present times the cigarettes gained a special popularity not only in France but in the neighboring countries as well, spreading to the whole Europe.