The concept of this article came to me when I found myself at a bit of a crossroads. I was working on making connections with the luxury cigar accessories company Les Fines Lames, renowned for their cigar knives and punch cutter bracelets, and I was simultaneously cutting a cigar using my fingernail - the method I just recently admitted to. “What hypocrisy,” I thought.
That thought isn’t wrong. And you won’t be wrong for directing that thought at me when you start seeing Les Fines Lames products appear on the site.
The fact of the matter is, while I personally don’t use lavish accessories, nor see them as necessary for ME, I respect their place in the market and I do respect what these luxury accessory companies produce.
One thing you will find if you read more of my writings is that I genuinely just would like people to do what works for them, what they like, and what they want. What that looks like for me is what is the genesis of this article: Cigar Minimalism.
Merriam-Webster defines minimalism as “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.”
In terms of lifestyles, minimalism is simply owning the things that are essential and bring value to your life.
I don’t make an intentional effort to live a minimalist life, and quite frankly, I certainly cannot be considered a minimalist based on one quick look at my garage. However, I do find peace and elegance in simplicity. I do tend to only need few items for one purpose (a lone example would be, as a guitar player and builder, I actually really have no interest in owning multiple guitars myself).
When it comes to cigars - though my wife may not agree with this statement - I feel the same. Long before becoming a retailer, though I smoked frequently and had an obsession with the culture, I never really reached “collector” status. You never really found multiple boxes at a time in my stash, nor did I ever find myself in the position of needing to “make space” for the next release. This was due to multiple reasons. One, cigars are meant to be smoked and I purchase them with the intent to smoke them and if I have too many, I couldn’t possibly get to smoking them all in a timely manner. Two, I just didn’t have the budget to go crazy on my purchases - I typically worked in “stock, smoke, repeat” cycles. Lastly, I suffer from severe “paralysis by analysis” and can easily find myself spending too much time deciding what to smoke. As a result of these things I always found myself maintaining a smaller “stash” of things that I actually like to smoke or want to smoke.
Then, I needed a place to store these cigars. There are quite lavish options out there for cigar storage from fancy humidors to highly featured coolidors. Now as I made the traditional journey through cigar smoking, I had tried a few iterations of storage. However, whether a desktop humidor, cooler, or 7 liter Sistema (what I have decided is my ideal option for my personal storage), I always have been able to properly store my cigars in a manner that was neither costly nor cluttersome. Boveda packs in a sistema in the closet room works perfect for me!
Once I select a cigar to smoke, I need a means of cutting the cigar and lighting it. I recently wrote about cutters, and showcased my method on my Instagram. I don’t have a special, expensive cigar knife. I don’t even have a cheap, branded guillotine cutter. I have a fingernail.. When it comes to lighting the cigar, I don't reach for an ST Dupont. I opt for my brass Zippo with a torch insert. Simple, yet effective. Plus I could try a hell of a lot more cigars with the money I saved on an expensive cutter and lighter!
My methods may not turn heads or live up to the luxurious standards set by the media or influencers, but it works for me. If luxury works for you, more power to ya! I encourage you to do what you want, so long as you enjoy the experience on a personal level, and so long as you are not condemning those that don’t do things in line with you!
Do you find yourself leaning towards luxury or minimalism? Let me know!