Cigar 101: Should I Keep Cellophane On or Off In The Humidor? – By Mike Holmes

From time to time when I browse social media I constantly see people ask if they should leave cellophane on or off their cigars while in the humidor. Like all cigar questions everyone has a different opinion on the subject, I am no different. In this article I am going to explore the reasons why people do both and let you make your own decision on what works best for you.

What is the purpose of cellophane?

The general purpose of cellophane is to protect the cigar while in transit. People who keep the cellophane on cigars, do so in order to protect their investment. Cellophane isn’t plastic it is a polymeric cellulose film made from the cellulose from wood, cotton, hemp, or other sources. Cellophane doesn’t prevent humidity from reaching your cigars when stored in the humidor, so it is mostly personal preference in keeping it on.

Cellophane is breathable and allows the oils to permeate while in the humidor, which is why, when a cigar is aged for a long time the color of the cellophane turns yellow or brown. I personally love when I see yellow cellophane because it is an indication that a cigar has been aged for a long time and like other cigar smokers I enjoy smoking an aged cigar and experiencing the changes that occurred from the aging process.

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On Or Off?

I believe this is personal preference. As I said earlier, keeping cigars in cellophane will help protect your investment. Cellophane doesn’t prevent humidity from reaching your cigars so it is perfectly safe to keep it on. People who prefer to take the cellophane off of their cigars aren’t wrong either.

There can also be benefits to storing your cigars without the cellophane. When re-hydrating a cigar the process will be faster while storing cigars naked. Humidity reaches cellophaned cigars a little slower, so removing the cellophane speeds up the process a bit.

Storing cigars naked will also help with developing plume on cigars. Cellophane will slow down the process of plume development as it will take longer for the oils to start rising to the surface of the cigar, and it will also make it harder to see the phenomenon of plume. Naked cigars assist in this process that takes years to develop.

Aside from those reasons, people who prefer to take the cellophane off cigars, do so because of aesthetic reasons. Cigars look beautiful naked and you can easily see if your cigars are too soft or too hard. You can reach into your humidor and take out a cigar and easily smell the aromas from your cigars and enjoy the texture and everything that comes with handling a cigar.

However you break it down, keeping the cellophane on or taking it off your cigars,while in the humidor, is your personal preference and there are great benefits either way!


In closing

Whether you are on “team on” or “team off’, I hope you can appreciate each method of storing cigars. When it comes to most cigar 101 topics there is no right or wrong way, it is a matter of preference and we should all respect each others choices and just enjoy our time together and unite over the leaf, especially in these turbulent times. Until next time, thanks for reading!

5 thoughts on “Cigar 101: Should I Keep Cellophane On or Off In The Humidor? – By Mike Holmes

  • I cut the top of the cello off. That way I have both protection and better airflow. I also date the cigar on the cello with magic marker (let it dry before you put it in your humidor) so I know how long it has been resting. Works for me!

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