Cigar Boxes: Functional Works of Art

You know what's better than purchasing a handful of your favorite cigars at once? Keeping the box they came in!

You know what’s better than purchasing a handful of your favorite cigars at once? Keeping the box they came in!

Dismiss it as kitsch if you want, but many cigar boxes are sufficiently sturdy to do double-time around the house. For example, I use an old Oliva Serie V box to store pens and pencils on my desk — one slot for each writing implement, making it functional as well as elegant. I use a Macanudo Maduro box as a more manly substitute for a jewelry box for my tie clips, cufflinks, collar tabs and assorted accoutrements. A lovely cedar Hoyo de Monterrey box holds my checkbook and blank note cards.  Loose photographs and smaller-sized cards go into the Macanudo 1968 box in my dining room.

Some tobacconists sell used boxes on the cheap, and that’s OK. But why not savor the memory of cigars you enjoyed by buying them by the box, then preserving the boxes for other uses?

Cigar boxes serve one essential purpose: To transport fine cigars from the plant to your humidor. Some boxes take the minimalist route; I’ve seen some that are basically just hard-pressed cardboard. But some boxes are sturdy cedar contraptions with brass hinges. Not only are they durable for reuse for many years to come, but they raise cigar packaging to an art form. My Mac Maduro box, for example, features a cedar interior lining with a richly lacquered shell that has sturdy hinges and even a lovely acrylic medallion on it. People pay big money for collectible boxes; we get ours for free when we buy cigars.

So, gents — keep those boxes. Reuse them. Treat them like the works of art they are!

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About jason

Jason is the principal of Gillikin Consulting, a business-media and ethics consultancy based in Grand Rapids, Mich.