Why should Spanish cedar wood be used for humidors?

A humidor can be made from a variety of materials though only the wood lining inside the humidor is truly decisive. Almost all humidors, of every price range, are now being made using an MDF core with a layer of wood veneer lining the inside. The most important issue then, is the type and thickness of the wood used in the interior. Here, Spanish cedar offers a whole host of advantages:

Aroma: The special aroma of Spanish cedar wood harmonizes exceedingly well with the aromas of the tobacco and has a positive effect on the flavour development of the cigars.

Moisture Buffer: Spanish cedar wood can store large quantities of moisture and release it back into the environment. This not only compensates for moisture fluctuations when the humidor is opened, but also ensures a more uniform climate throughout the humidor. Mahogany and other tropical woods can also store moisture to varying degrees, but they lack the other advantages of Spanish cedar. If other materials which do not absorb moisture, like glass for example, are used in the interior of the humidor, the cigars will be exposed to greater fluctuations in the ambient humidity level.

Protection from tobacco beetles: Spanish cedar wood acts as a natural insect repellent and reduces the risk of your cigars being plagued by tobacco beetles.

It is important that the Spanish cedar wood is properly dried before being used in a humidor. This process is done in large ovens. If the fresh wood is not dried properly, it may suddenly, even after several years, develop a sticky residue on the surface which can be very difficult to remove.

However, Spanish cedar has its price and is often very difficult to obtain, especially in China, but also in other countries known for the manufacturing of humidors. The wood has to be imported from Latin America or plantations in West Africa. In many countries, there is not sufficient demand for Spanish cedar wood, so this niche product is not considered worth importing by most timber merchants. For the average person, and sometimes even for long-time cigar smokers, the difference with other tropical woods is often not discernable at the time of purchase. So in practice unfortunately, mahogany or other tropical woods are often used inside humidors. Mostly through ignorance and the similar name, red cedar is often used also. However, it has no place in humidors, its penetrating scent will ruin the aroma of every cigar inside.

Another problem often encountered is the use of very thin veneers. Veneers that are less than 1 mm thick are not thick enough to provide the positive characteristics of Spanish cedar wood. Since in most cases the thickness of the veneer is not visible to the buyer, the use of very thin veneers to line humidors is an underhanded opportunity to reduce costs. This can turn buying a humidor into a matter of trust. With well-known manufacturers, such as adorini or Elie Bleu, the buyer can be certain that actual Spanish cedar wood of adequate thickness is used in the production of their humidors. In our online shop we have also made Spanish cedar wood available for direct purchase.

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