Updated: Oct 21, 2022
Liam Hetherington refers to cigar aroma as "the most overlooked attribute." He talks about blenders dipping their "face deep into a hand of tobacco and... sniffing for a particular aroma that tells them when the leaf is ready." If you ever get the chance to smell a just opened box of cigars, breathe deep!
According to Cigar Aficionado, "Aroma, or bouquet, is the smell from a burning cigar." The article even mentions how some cigar smokers will cup their hand and wave smoke towards them. However, your cigar doesn't have to be lit to enjoy its aroma. Take a cue from President Obama and sniff your cigar before you light it!
The Cigar Sense website emphasizes that cigars are made of leaves, cigars are plant based. This is important to note because "the aromas of plants and foods are due to the presence of chemical substances that have two main characteristics" - volatility and odorousness. Volatile means that chemicals "must evaporate to be inhaled through the nose...." Odorous simply means "able to produce penetrating aromas."
In a cigar, one will detect a variety of aromas. Our memory and experience trigger our ability to perceive them. It is our sense of smell that allows us to distinguish between an orange and coffee or chocolate and vanilla. Tobacconist University emphasizes that "smell is the sense that reveals the extraordinary qualities (ie. complexity/sophistication) of great tobacco, food, wine and even air. If you don't believe this, try smoking a cigar with a cold, or with cotton stuffed up your nose - just for fun."
"Tobacconist University began using the term TobaccAromatherapy in 1998, referring to the beneficial and therapeutic effects derived from luxury tobaccos; products which are cultivated, crafted, and curated until they are combusted and savored for our sensory pleasure."
Before you cut and light, take a moment and savor the aroma of your cigar. Then make sure to incorporate your olfactories into your chill!