The Art Between a Creative and Their Cuban Cigar
Actor Jack Nicholson smoking a cigar. Photo via Twitter
HOLLYWOOD STARS. ICONIC DIRECTORS. CREATIVE ARTISTS
While some find expression – an outlet, released in the midst of cooking, painting and dance, a creative mind cannot relax with art, when art is their place of work. Many a talent – musicians, directors, painters and actors, need to find a way to let their brain’s pause long enough to unwind before daydreaming a new project. It’s often said a highly creative person struggles to stick to routine and regulation. Their lives are based around their talent, waking not necessarily to a morning glow of sunlight, but when their creativity is at its finest. Over the decades, there has been a simple solution; a gift to stimulate a relaxing influence on a creative genius. A Cuban Cigar – elegant, luxurious and stress relieving.
CIGARS STATUS ABOVE CIGARETTES - It almost seems too long ago to contemplate when you were last at a restaurant and propositioned as to whether you would like to sit in a non-smoking area. Naturally at the time, my mother sat me where she found freedom to light up her cigarette, finding comfort amongst the other smokers. Amidst today’s negative research and poor society outlook, cigarettes are a hidden, lost act. Cigars however, have effortlessly sailed through tobacco views and shine as a luxury to behold in the most exclusive hotels and lounges. Any cigar aficionado will explain how the experience of smoking one, is nothing similar to a nicotine hit. There’s no inhalation – rarely is there an obsession to go through an entire box. No cigar connoisseur would miss-treat their cigar in such a way – every crafted piece deserves special attention and time. Although admitting a cigar is not the healthiest, mentally, the art between a creative and their cigar is hard to dispute. With the top genius minds seeking the very best, there’s no doubt a Habano is their preference.
Top Left: Director Alfred Hitchcock, Bottom Left: Actress Marlene Dietrich, Top Right: Director John Huston, Centre Right: Actor John Wayne, Bottom Right: Charlie Chaplin. Creative artists who smoked cigars.
“You lose yourself in it; everything fades away” – Raúl Juliá
ENTERTAINERS AND CUBAN CIGARS – Jack Nicholson – Montecristo, Michael Douglas and Demi Moore – a Montecristo No. 2. Modern stars – particularly from the 90’s when a cigar revival flooded Hollywood, have long enjoyed the pleasuring taste of a habano. During the twenties, a cigar girl was born, growing up to reach the 1950’s where she could be found at night, smiling through bars, casinos and social clubs. Americans boomed the Cuban cigar industry in the mid-19th century; in 1901 Britain, Edward VII made a habano a solid accessory for gentleman to own. The Golden Age of film, is full of some of the world’s greatest directors and showbiz icons, counting heavily on the rest delivered by Cuban cigars. Comedian Milton Berle – perhaps recognised equally now for his brief affair with Marilyn Monroe, was known as ‘Mr. Television’, spanning a lucrative 80-year career. His three wives all supported his Havana habit. Similar to John F. Kennedy, he favoured H. Upmann – one of the oldest Cuban cigar brands on the market. Our H. Upmann Cigars (kept in mint condition in our humidors) consist of an opulent, slightly darker colour, and a flavour strength most consider medium. Sammy Davis JR, Marlene Dietrich and Groucho Marx are other well-known Old Hollywood cigar smokers. Marx reportedly said – “A woman is an occasional pleasure but a cigar is always a smoke”.
“That’s why I write in so many cigar-smoking heroes…" - Orson Welles
HABANOS IN A DIRECTOR'S STORY – Talking about the art link bounding a creative to a Cuban cigar – a precious bond similar to an art brush dipped in paint, there’s a feeling the ritual of holding, lighting and placing to the lips, is a ritual which helps focus the mind. Arguably, cigar devotees suggest a cigar is a creativity boost – a gateway to letting ideas fly. The greatest directors – John Huston, Charlie Chaplin, Francis Ford Coppola and Alfred Hitchcock, took their personal love of cigars to the silver screen. Orson Welles intentionally wrote cigar-smoking characters, whereas Chaplin used cigars to help connote the wealth of individual characters. As discussed in our blog post: Hollywood’s Love Affair with Cigars, cigars play a critical role in a huge portion of highly-acclaimed films. Take the example we used of James Bond, where a Romeo y Julieta Churchills Cigar was gripped by the fingers of a Swiss banker at gunpoint. Notably, Darryl Zanuck – former studio executive at Fox, was said to have always walked round holding a habano.
Top Left: Charles Dickens drawing, Bottom Left: Director, producer and writer Orson Welles, Centre: Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, Right: Ernest Hemingway book: To Have and Have Not. Creative artists who smoked cigars.
A WRITER’S CIGAR – In literatures history, you’ll long find a list of women and men who smoked some form of tobacco. If there was ever a way to diminish the fate of writer’s block, we believe a Cuban cigar is a wilful remedy. According to Zino Davidoff, Ernest Hemingway was “a devoted smoker of Havana cigars”. His friend American novelist Gertrude Stein, shared Hemingway’s cigar devotion. Writers in their own community, are similar to groups created in the cigar world. Sitting at a lounge and looking over to see someone else enjoying a Habano too, is more special than visiting a foreign country and recognising the voice of a local from your own home location. Renowned poet Lord Byron wrote an ode to cigars in poems. Equally, Rudyard Kipling wrote the classic line “Light me another Cuba”. Showing a Cuban cigars significance, his poem acknowledges Kipling’s fiancée seeing his cigars as competition for affection.
OTHER ARTISTS AND THEIR FAVOURITE CUBANS – Classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein was known to have adored Montecristo No. 2 and 3. Likewise, Michael Jordon’s choice is a No. 2 Montecristo. The Montecristo No. 2 Cigar is delectably spicy and flavoured with sweet notes of cinnamon. Frequently classified as one of the best Cuban Cigars for sale, it’s not surprising legendary creative talent select the habano as a favourite. The Montecristo No. 3 Cigar on the other hand, contains notes of cedar and black pepper, and is medium to full bodied. Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie supposedly preferred Romeo y Julieta and a Hoyo de Monterrey Cigar which are made with the highest quality tobacco from Cuba. From Picasso to Charles Dickens, the art between a creative and their cigar is deep and profound. Who knows how many prestigious Cuban cigars, have helped mould and shape some of the best pieces of art.