If there is one very common question posed by those who enjoy buying and smoking high-quality cigars it is "Do you remove the plastic wrapper when storing in a humidor?" Unfortunately, this is a question that doesn't have an authoritative answer. Many experts would simply reply that it is a matter of preference, but there are some benefits in choosing to use the humidor AND leaving the cigars in their wrappers while inside the well controlled environment.
Let's first look at cigar wrappers in general and understand how they can be of tremendous benefit to a true aficionado. Firstly, they are made of a material known as cellophane. This has the feel of traditional plastic, with the great exception that it is actually a porous or breathable material. Cellophane can prevent the actual wrapper or leaf of the cigar from sustaining damages, and will also deliver a host of other beneficial services. For instance, if you leave a cigar in its wrapper outside of a controlled-environment it will go stale and be completely ruined in only a matter of days. This is because the air and moisture of the environment can travel in an out of the pores of the wrapper and leave it open to flavor and moisture loss unless it is put into a humid and controlled environment.
So, should you leave all of your cigars in their special cellophane packaging, or not? The answer given by most experts and enthusiasts is usually that it is a matter of personal preference, but in reality there are more benefits to keeping the wrappings in place than in removing them. Consider that they are all crafted from cellophane, which is far different from traditional plastic wrap. If you put a cigar in a piece of household plastic wrap the humidity within the tobacco would not easily leave the surface, which could actually lead to mold or mildew. This is the very reason that cellophane is used instead, but this also means that too much moisture can leave the cigar and allow it to go stale.
So, leaving a cigar in its cellophane wrapping protects it from harm, reduces the amount of flavor that is exchanged with neighboring cigars, and it also preserves the life of the cigar cutter blades. That's right; when someone keeps their cigars in their wrappers during the cutting process the blades stay a bit cleaner and sharper, enjoying a significantly longer life span.
Another accessory that can be easily seen as a necessity is a good lighter and most enthusiasts will want the preferred "torch" style lighter that provides a longer flame and protection from any surrounding wind. Of course, a good accessory to own when delving into the world of high-quality cigars is a comprehensive education about them too, and many people would appreciate the gift of a few authoritative books about the cigars of the world, and how to properly care for them to provide the finest results.