Cassie and I both smoke cigars from time to time. I generally smoke them more often than Cassie; although I think that may be changing…
Cigars trigger pleasant memories for me. Both my parents used to smoke but it was my father who smoked cigars and I liked the smell of them. He had a ritual of lighting up a big cigar after dinner on Sundays. As a teenager I used to nag him to let me have a puff on his cigar. Usually he refused of course but one day he said yes; I think he was expecting me to cough and choke and that would be the end of the matter… Well I did cough and choke but I didn’t want to lose face or feel defeated so I persevered. I probably did feel sick and I didn’t ask again for quite a while but somehow by the time I was about sixteen, the Sunday cigar was a ritual that I shared with my father. It was only on Sundays but I wanted to do it right… He bought different cigars for me to try and taught me the right way to cut and light them. I really liked all those ritual elements (Cassie hates those). I think in a strange way he was rather proud of me. He once joked, “I have a daughter who swears all the time and smokes cigars, what did I do wrong?”
So the Sunday cigar is a tradition I have kept up. I guess it is partly because it reminds me of those times with my father. I love my mother very much but sometimes there is a special bond between father and daughter and in my case that bond was cut short when my father died so all memories of my times with him are special.
Cigars are one of the many things that trigger sweet memories of my father, but because the memory is so linked with the sense of smell which is such a powerful catalyst, those particular memories seem to go straight to my heart and soul.
Anyway… Normally I only smoke cigars on Sundays or special occasions. I usually buy Davidoff 3000s and have introduced Cassie to them and she likes them too. They are quite long and thin, but not too thin. I admit the way they look and feel in your fingers is somehow important. Some types of cigars just don’t look very feminine. Mostly I like these cigars for the taste. They are quite strong but the smoke has a balanced and silky texture so they don’t seem harsh at all on the throat.
Even though I smoke cigarettes regularly I can understand that other people may not like the smell of cigarettes on me. And nobody wants to kiss an ashtray! I think there is a myth that smokers smell bad all the time, well speaking for myself and Cassie we take a lot of care of our hygiene and I honestly think that unless we were smoking a cigarette at the time or had just put one out, most people wouldn’t know we smoked; there are ways to keep your breath fresh after all… With cigars however it is different. The smell and the taste of a good cigar does tend to stay with you; sometimes I think I can feel it in my skin. But with cigars I like that sensation and I like it in other people too. For me the taste of Cassie after she has been smoking a good cigar is the best aphrodisiac I can imagine!
I also used to like the aroma of my father’s cigars which he smoked at weekends or occasionally in the evenings but I think the reason I started smoking cigars myself was less poignant than Sophie. With me it was more a case that once I had been smoking regularly for a while I was just curious about other things that you could smoke. I experimented with different brands of cigarettes and occasionally experimented with cigars and cigarillos. There were a few brands of cigarillos that I liked but I was less keen on actual cigars.
I found I could smoke cigarillos in the same way I smoked cigarettes. They were stronger, but I quite liked that. Cigars on the other hand did not fall into my routine or lifestyle. Smoking a cigar seemed like a rather pretentious event rather than something natural. I felt self conscious and uncomfortable smoking them and consequently very rarely did.
Then, about eight years ago, I had a boyfriend who’s job was importing and exporting fine cigars. He was quite an aficionado and he tried to educate me on the subject. His education of me was not a complete success! I hated and still do hate all the ritual and pretentiousness of smoking cigars; but I did discover some cigars which I really liked and continued to smoke occasionally long after he had become an ex.
As Sophie enjoys cigars a lot, I have found that I have been smoking them more regularly and often since we have been together. The main thing is that it now fits into my life in a way that feels natural and enjoyable. In fact one of my greatest pleasures now is our Sunday afternoon routine in Zurich…
When I am at home on Sundays (which still isn’t as often as I would like) Sophie, Tina and I go for lunch at a restaurant overlooking the lake. They have a nice, well ventilated, smokers lounge but if the weather is good we prefer to sit outside anyway. We treat ourselves to a nice meal although unfortunately nothing in Zurich is cheap. The food in the restaurant is always good though. After the meal Sophie and I smoke our cigars while finishing the wine and then some form of coffee. We sit there smoking and drinking for an hour or so watching boats on the lake and chatting about everything. Tina usually finds some friends to play with down by the lake or she goes off collecting insects or sometimes she just stays and chats with us. All in all it is the most relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I have taken to smoking Davidoff Panatellas and I like the way the taste lingers in my mouth and seems to permeate my whole body. And, as Sophie has said, I also love the way we both taste later in the day when we relax in other ways!