Here’s the scene (cue howling wind): you are invited to a dinner party to which friends are bringing guests you have not met. There you find the food plentiful and the company delightful. Afterwards your host leads you to the backyard, someone offers a cigar…one you have never smoked. Your curiosity is piqued and you graciously accept what looks like a potentially good cigar. You light it and immediately can tell it has a smooth and aromatic flavor. As you continue to smoke you are thinking perhaps you’ll buy some for yourself. Upon arriving home the cigar is still resonating on your palate, and as you drift off to sleep you recall the pleasant experience of sharing a good cigar with a potential new friend. The next morning you arise to find that something has come over you. It is an unshakable thought of the cigar you smoked the night before. That wonderful cigar has captivated your imagination and left you desiring another. As the day progresses you feel an urge to go online and look up how much a box of those cigars would cost. As you browse, your recollection of the cigar begins to build and gradually turns into an insatiable desire to possess them. In an instant you have ordered a five pack and chosen expedited shipping. You want them as soon as possible. After what seems like endless days of waiting, the package finally arrives and resisting the urge to smoke one immediately, you put your new treasures into the humidor for conditioning. After a couple of days, the time has finally come to enjoy the much-anticipated event and upon lighting, you find the cigar to be better than you had remembered it. But the attraction doesn’t end there. In the days that follow, you find yourself mysteriously drawn to smoke yet another. Yearning for that deeply satisfying experience, this new cigar is calling to you, beckoning for your return. You think about smoking one of your old favorites, but the draw of the new acquisition is too great. You reach into your humidor, brushing aside some old friends, looking like a man possessed with a singular task in mind. You light it up, sit back and feel the wonderful satisfaction of eternal bliss. Without thinking you are at the computer, looking up the price of a box…they are calling you.
If this scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. It is human nature to reflect on our past experiences, and to modify our behavior going forward. Our memory serves us well, and we like to repeat good experiences and avoid past missteps. With cigars, we can recreate great moments by simply smoking that same, great, cigar again. Our “Cigar Memory”, the memory of smoking a particular cigar, is what drives our cigar purchases. Even more than the act of smoking, our memory of a cigar embellishes our experience. This may be the single most important element that influences our impression of a cigar. After we smoke that special cigar, and our memory kicks in, it’s hard to resist the need to possess more. Like Nosferatu, a great cigar will beckon us, and we are useless to resist.
Thanks for listening,