Francois, thanks, those are some nice looking cheeses!
As previously mentioned, I feel I would be able to tell apart the two kinds when looking at the final product (albeit, even here might be cause for confusion: the cheese you classify as smear is actually labeled washed rind by the manufacturer)
But yes, the kind of cheese I am after is the first link (the Timanoix). Unfortunately though, they only have photographs of the cheese in its final stage - it makes sense to be able to brush that rind in the end, but how do I get there? I suppose I should really keep it at a lower humidity and wipe much less at first (reduce the surface moisture as opposed to what a smear would want)? Or is it primarily a matter of the inoculation - using the correct one? Speaking of which, PLA has been mentioned several times on this forum in relation to a washed rind, however, you feel it is better suited for smear rind development? And the hobbyist aside (using a piece of commercial rind), what do the commercial producers inoculate a washed rind cheeses with?
The Timanoix appears to have a very dark black/brown rind underneath the few specs of white mold - is that the result of actual back mold (cat's hair) growing on it at stages during ripening or could that also be the result of lighter molds (somehow I have a feeling they never had white mold growing on it and the few specs on there now are only able to grab hold at the very end).
The photo of the cheese further up is not of my Tomme - that cheese is a nearly 12 weeks old alpine type and (apart from the few spots) has practically no rind. I mean, it is simply a hardened, more dry and dense casing but without any special characteristic. Being an alpine it was pressed with a lot more weight than my Tommes and turned out a lot drier from the get go than my rather moist and soft Tommes. It had developed some glue/green mold in the beginning as I had kept it at 95RH and didn't wipe at all. As per your suggestion, I brushed and scraped off most of the spots and it is now developing a more dry and white powdery surface. Should I let this develop further and brush only once a week? I suppose it is some kind of geo but isn't that strange so late into the aging process when acidity at the surface has most likely reduced quite a bit?
BTW, the Timanoix site mentions a wash with brandy, does such a high alcohol level not kill off everything on the surface every time they wipe?
... I am sorry, my questions just keep coming (and some probably repeated) ...