As a cigar smoker you have definitely noticed by now that sometimes cigars come wrapped in cellophane, and sometimes they don’t. It seems to me that the trend towards cellophane-wrapped cigars is growing in the non-Cuban community while it is non-existent in Cuban cigars (since the early ’90s.) It is a common question among smokers as to what to do with the wrapper when you finally get it home to your humidor. First, let’s discuss why it’s on there in the first place.
If you speak to manufacturers about their reasoning behind using cellophane you’ll find that the reasons include protecting the wrapper, preserving the nose, and preserving the flavours. First, it definitely protects the wrapper. Handling in the store or even at home can cause cracks in the foot or tear at loose edges of the wrapper or cap. Asides from cracks it keeps peoples fingers off something your going to put into your mouth – but that deserves a whole other article on shop humidor etiquette!
The smell of opening a sticked humidor is incredible. We all love that sweet, rich aroma that becomes a trigger for good memories for the rest of our lives. It’s a great blend of all those cigars you’ve collected from various regions of the world. Unfortunately, that mingling of fragrances also occurs within your cigars. The manufacturer spent a long time choosing the right blend of tobaccos that would mingle perfectly as the cigar ages. Laying many different cigars together in a humidor causes the odours to influence each other and direct contact means that the oils begin to merge with their neighbours.
Now, sometimes you want that blending of flavours – especially with cigars from the same box or sometimes even from the same region or manufacturer. A cigar aged in cellophane will not necessarily share the same complexity as its nudist counterpart. Finally, in smaller humidors where cigars are not in boxes, the cellophane can make it look not-as-beautiful, let’s say.
As for humidity, cellophane doesn’t entirely isolate the cigar from the environment. Some air and moisture can pass through the cellophane while the oils are more likely to get trapped. This is why a well aged cigar wrapped in cellophane with stain or dye that cellophane yellow/brown. This means that a cigar that is wrapped will most likely have a slightly better regulated humidity – but it is safe to leave your cigar wrapped in cellophane.
For me, I unwrap many of my cigars because I take lots of photos of them and they don’t sit very long in my humidor. Some of my cigars however are there for aging and if they came wrapped in cellophane I will leave it on. The choice is up to you, really. There is no right or wrong way and my job here is simply to present the pros and cons of either choice.
How about you? Do you leave your cigars wrapped in cellophane or do you unpackage them right away? What lead you to making that
Let us know in the comments!