Unveiling the Mystery: Cigar Plume vs. Mold - Debunking the Debate

Unveiling the Mystery: Cigar Plume vs. Mold - Debunking the Debate

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

Cigar enthusiasts often find themselves immersed in the age-old debate surrounding cigar plume and mold. While some staunchly believe in the existence of cigar plume, others argue that it is nothing more than a misunderstood manifestation of mold. In this article, we will delve into the heart of the controversy, exploring the characteristics of both cigar plume and mold and attempting to settle the debate once and for all.

Understanding Cigar Plume:

Cigar plume, also known as bloom, is a term used to describe the crystalline, powdery substance that occasionally forms on the surface of well-aged cigars. Proponents of the existence of cigar plume argue that it is a sign of a perfectly aged and well-maintained cigar. This phenomenon is believed to occur when oils and sugars present in the tobacco crystallize and rise to the surface, creating a thin, powdery layer.

The Mold Argument:

On the other side of the spectrum, skeptics assert that what some people identify as cigar plume is, in fact, a form of mold. Mold is a common issue in the cigar world, and it can develop under certain conditions, such as high humidity levels. Mold on cigars typically appears as fuzzy, irregular patches, and it is often mistaken for plume due to their somewhat similar appearance.

Debunking the Myth:

To settle the debate, it's crucial to understand the distinct characteristics of both cigar plume and mold. Cigar plume is a powdery substance that can be easily wiped away without leaving any damage to the wrapper. In contrast, mold is more resilient and tends to penetrate the cigar, causing irreparable damage to the wrapper.

Furthermore, cigar plume is a rare occurrence and is more likely to be found on well-aged cigars stored in optimal conditions. Mold, on the other hand, can develop in less-than-ideal environments, especially where humidity levels are too high. By carefully examining the characteristics of the substance on the cigar's surface, one can often determine whether it is plume or mold.

The Case for Cigar Plume:

Advocates for the existence of cigar plume argue that it is a natural part of the aging process and a sign of a well-maintained cigar collection. They emphasize the rarity of plume and suggest that proper storage conditions can encourage its formation.


While the debate between cigar plume and mold continues, a careful examination of the evidence suggests that cigar plume is a real phenomenon, albeit a rare one. Proper storage conditions and patience in aging cigars can contribute to the development of plume, signaling a well-maintained collection. As cigar enthusiasts, it's essential to remain vigilant and educated to differentiate between the two and preserve the integrity of our cherished cigars.

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