Manufacturers who wrap their cigars in plastic when asked, why do they do so, give the following answers: plastic wrap offers better protection against any damage to the wrapper like handling, restocking or storage; the cigars don’t dry out quickly if you are traveling away from home or the humidor stops working; the loss of aroma to the air surrounding the cigar is less, and consequently it keeps its “nose” longer.
Reality check!! Cigars that are wrapped in plastic are rarely found to get their wrapper damaged. This means that it is wise to wrap the cigars in plastic, especially the ones that have a very delicate wrapper. Especially when you consider how the cigars are dealt with in restaurants, this practice is far from inappropriate.
People who enjoy buying and smoking cigars of high quality ask a common question:
“Do you remove the plastic wrapper before you store it in a humidor.” The answer to this question is not authoritative. Many experts say that it is a matter of preference, but leaving the cigars in their wrappers and then placing it in your cigar humidor, has its own benefits.
First of all, let us take a look at the cigar wrappers generally, to understand how they can benefit a true cigar lover. Most of the cigars that are wrapped in plastic is a material called cellophane.
Cellophane feels like plastic, but the difference is that it is actually porous and is breathable. Cellophane helps prevent the actual leaf or wrapper of the cigar from getting damaged. But if you leave a cigar in the wrapper outside of a controlled environment, it will go stale in a matter of few days.
A cigar that is wrapped in cellophane, if put in a dry environment, will dry out just like an unwrapped cigar— the process will be slower definitely, but eventually, it will dry out. Cellophane is not hermetically sealed, you can smell the cigar through it.
So if the moisture can escape through the plastic wrapping, it can also get in. This means air humidity should not be the reason for unwrapping your cigar.
So if you are sure that your cigars are in cellophane and not plastic, it is better to store them with the cellophane in the cigar humidor. If you are unsure of the material, then remove that wrapper while storing it.
If your intention while storing the cigars is to age them over a long period, to allow the secondary and tertiary aromas to develop, then you should remove the cellophane. But make sure if you are storing flavored cigars such as sweet cigars, store them in a separate humidor.
Your other cigars, otherwise, your cigars will absorb the flavor of the flavored cigars, even if you do not remove the plastic wrapping. Flavored cigars do not improve with aging, they actually lose their flavor. The purpose of storing them in humidor is to preserve them not to age them. Flavored cigars should always be stored in their cellophane wrapping.