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How to start smoking cigars: A conversation with Eddie Sahakian of Davidoff Of London

Omar Morning Eddie, it is an absolute pleasure to be talking to you today! Please go ahead and introduce yourself to those reading who may not have had the pleasure of knowing who you are.

Eddie Sahakian Good morning Omar. My name is Eddie Sahakian. We've had the pleasure of talking before, but really the first time we're face to face, albeit virtually. I am the son of Edward Sahakian, and Edward Sahakian is the founder and proprietor of Davidoff of London. For all of you in this world who enjoy cigars, and I'd like to think the finer things in life, you may have heard of my father and indeed the store. It was established in 1980, so the 29th of May, we're coming up to 41st anniversary soon, the 29th of May, 1980, we opened our doors and welcomed initially it was family and friends. Zino Davidoff was there and various friends from Davidoff.

Omar Zino Davidoff was the founder, correct?

Eddie Sahakian Yes indeed. Davidoff was originally a just a shop that was run by a gentleman called, as you know, Zino Davidoff. And he had set it up in Switzerland just after or around World War Two, very well known in the tobacco industry. He had traveled to South America and the Caribbean and seen plantations long before many people would do that kind of visit. Along with being the founder he was also a marketing genius and the consummate host. So his shop in Geneva eventually became the pilgrimage for cigar smokers from anywhere in the world. This is where my father met him in the early 70s as a customer and was recommended some Davidoff cigars to smoke, which he loved. In the early seventies around that period as well, the shop itself and the brand was purchased by a company in Switzerland called Ottinger. A gentleman called Ernst Schneider he was the chairman at the time and they took it on and he really took Davidoff to the next level in terms of turning it into a global brand, a business with many, many shops spread out through the world. Whilst at that time the cigars were principally produced in Cuba, they were considered the best cigars Cuba produced. And in the eighties, there was a set of arguments between Davidoff and Cuba that unfortunately resulted in the Cubans agreeing to not make any more cigars under the Davidoff name and Davidoff agreeing not to sell any cigars from Cuba. They parted way and I think for both sides it led to different outcomes. Both have been quite, quite positive. Davidoff produced and really invested in the non Cuban expertize in the Dominican Republic, and they've gone on to ever greater production and quality and luxury there. Of course, Cuba has plenty of brands to focus on and Cohiba became the preeminent brand to fill the vacuum left by the Davidoff brand. Our relationship with Davidoff started as a customer, as I mentioned in the early seventies, my father was living in Iran as well as I was, and his businesses took him to to Switzerland at one point when he, in 1978 had to leave Iran. All of us went on holiday, never went home. Basically, he was asked, what would you like to do? You're too young to retire. And of course, he had a passion for several things in his life. Photography was one of them cars, watches but the one that really stuck to his mind was cigars. At that time, there was no Davidoff in London, so that's the very first and the beginnings of that conversation, which ended up in a franchise being given to my father and the shop opening on the 29th of May 1980. So that's the background. That's that's who we are, and and I'm very lucky to to stand on my father's shoulders. He's still active in the business, I was in the business in the early nineties for a few years, then I went into finance for about ten years and then in 2008, I came back into the business mainly because my business had ended in structured finance in the city, and I'd very soon realized that I should never have left the shop, what a wonderful business cigar's is. As a proprietor, it's a very different relationship, when you're in the business of pleasure, as my father says, it's an incredibly satisfying line of business to be in, especially if you enjoy the product yourself. So ticks all the boxes for me now and I'm very lucky to still be here and still work with my father and continue to smoke his stock, as he likes to say.

Omar I think it truly is extraordinary where your father was able to almost live the dream, as it were. He's allowed to create his passion, his hobby into his job, into his livelihood, which is really the aim for so many people around the world. Some advice I received a while ago was that you want to work as if you never have to work a day in your life

Eddie Sahakian Very good advice Omar.

Omar So it really is lovely to kind of see that. You clearly enjoy it so much. And it's amazing because I've been watching a lot of your interviews with Kirby Alison, which have been really great and absolutely fantastic. I enjoy the chemistry that you guys have. It's very, very entertaining. But one thing that made me laugh yesterday as I was watching, I can't remember which interview it was, but I was watching one of the interviews where you said that you'll be rummaging through your dad's stock and you'll find something and you'll say to your dad, look what I found. And he will say, no, no, no, it was never lost. I just hid it. Well, the same thing happened to me yesterday where I was unfortunately, we had a few Por Larranaga Petite Corona's that had gotten some green mold or rot or whatever it may have been, and I was advised to take them out and to dispose of them. So as I was doing that, I was taking the cigars out and underneath I found six cardboard boxes of Trinidad Fundadores from 2004.

Trinidad Fundadores Taken on Nikon Z6

Trinidad Fundadores Taken on Nikon Z6

Eddie Sahakian Oh goodness, that's like that's like finding gold under under a few pennies. Well, according

Omar Well, according to me, that's what it was. I called my dad immediately. I said, hey, what's what's going on here? I just found these crazy cigars. And he said, oh, right, OK, just leave them where they are, please.

Eddie Sahakian Yeah, you didn't find them because they were never lost.

Omar Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And next to them, I think I found that next to it was a box of 10 Cohiba Piramides edition limitada from 2006, I think

Cohiba Piramides Edition Limitada 2006 Taken on Nikon Z6

Eddie Sahakian What a beautiful cigar.

Omar Yeah. Which I thought, wow, this is unbelievable he's going to be so happy I found these, you know, he must must have not known that they were here, but he did know and he just didn't want me to find them. But the thing that I have to say is, and this is from somebody who has experienced your shop and whatnot, is it really is a lovely place to visit. I'm fairly lucky that the majority of my audience are based in London, so when I was thinking if I was just starting my cigar journey, which I only started about five years ago, I think. But the question still stood, if i was just starting my journey where would I have loved to have started it? And I would have loved to have started it with you guys at Davidoff, because I feel as though that you guys have got a wealth of knowledge and you're always so helpful to the beginner as well as accommodating to the veteran. If I was a beginner walking in to your shop what do you think would be some of the important things that you would advise me as a beginner who knows nothing about cigars on how to get into cigars, what cigars would I look at what would you recommend? How would you go about that?

Eddie Sahakian Mm hmm. Well, first, thank you very much for that, for the kind feedback that means everything to us. A small anecdote. My father would always say this and I repeat it. If you ever have a bad experience with us, please tell me and if you ever have a good experience, please tell everyone else. It's wonderful. And, you know, that's the underpinning of retail, but when you walk into a shop, irrespective of whether you're going to buy a cigar or not, you need to be made to feel welcome. You're walking into our home and you are a guest and in our culture, the guest is the most important person in your home and you know that that immediately is how you should feel. Now, even better if you're coming in because you're interested in cigars, of course, that's that's our specialty and our focus. So we would hope to welcome you properly and then, of course, the questions that follow very quickly would be if you're looking for a cigar, of course, you'd be telling me. Yes. And perhaps that you'd never smoked before but you're interested in trying. So at that point I come at it in a very simplistic fashion. It's how I would have liked to have been dealt with going back all those years to talk to my childhood or 16, 17 and and the questions that you must always ask and would be asked by us your level experience with tobacco in general. For example are you a cigarette smoker, are you an existing pipe smoker? The answers to those can can inform us a little bit on the experience of your palate. But let's assume your answer is no. I've never smoked but I'd love to try.

Omar If I could actually just bring myself back to when I was starting out and maybe you could provide me with a bit of advice. So I had never smoked anything. No cigarettes, nothing before before I had my first cigar.

Eddie Sahakian Yes. OK, well, that's a very easy starting point for us because it's like me, I was the same position and the next set of questions would be. When would you like to smoke a cigar? What do you see as a cigar representing for you the time of day you would like to enjoy it, the company you'd like to enjoy it with. And I would throw in a little sprinkling of wisdom, which which is that cigars should always be enjoyed after a meal, not on an empty stomach, because irrespective of your experience with tobacco, you can get very nauseous very quickly if you try and smoke a cigar on an empty stomach. So I would always say find a meal, lunch or dinner where you think you would have an amount of time to sit down afterwards, ideally in company. And this touches on another very important element of the enjoyment of cigars. It can certainly be done on your own. It's fundamentally the same product, but the pleasure is amplified in company and it's amplified even more in good company where you're perhaps enjoying a similar or the same cigar so you can one person smoking his, you're smoking, yours, and the conversation will evolve very naturally as to how is yours? how was mine? You know, so I would always say try and have those ingredients even on your first smoking. And then of course, I would gravitate towards what I would consider a lighter blend in a size that is not overwhelming. Size I'll come on to, but blend wise in our house brand Davidoff, there are plenty that sit in the light to medium strength and that is typically Dominican based tobaccos. By nature, they can be quite creamy and Davidoff blends them to be very approachable in two of the sizes. The number two, which is my favourite size, the one my father fell in love with as well. It's a very elegant 38 ring gauge, it's essentially like a slightly big pen.

Omar Fabulous, 38 is my favourite ring gauge.

Eddie Sahakian It's beautiful, like that, like the Fundadores, whereas the original one's not the current crop..

Omar Are you talking about the gold band?

Eddie Sahakian Yeah, yes. So they're in that size as well, but a bit longer, but in a nice 38 ring gauge, that's option one. The number two would give you 45 to to 45 minutes to an hour of smoking pleasure. The alternative I would present would be a Davidoff 2000 where it's a little bit shorter, a little bit thicker. So going to 40 or 40 to ring gauge, I believe a more typical what we call a Corona size. And then in the Cuban sphere, I would offer a couple of alternatives as well. Hoyo De Monterrey as a blend is a very light and approachable cigar and perhaps El Rey Del Mundo, which is a very small portfolio in the UK. There's only two sizes that are readily available but the Choix Supreme, which is a 48 ring gauge five inch cigar, it is a great cigar. A little bit thick for the novice smoker but still very approachable. Among the ones I've mentioned, which one would you be drawn to? And I know it's difficult to say that without seeing it.

Omar I think I would probably say I've heard of Hoyo De Monterrey and I'd like that. It's a Cuban, I think it's quite interesting, and I've also heard great things about the Davidoff Number two. Like I said that over the last five years that has been a cigar that has been recommended to me by every single cigar smoker. There's two cigars that everyone recommends that I smoke, one is the Davidoff number two and the other is the Trinidad Fundadores. Those are the two cigars that every single cigar aficionado that I speak to recommends to me.

Eddie Sahakian So lovely to hear that.

Omar it's great because the thing like like I said, I really enjoy the 38 ring gauge. It just works very well for me and my capacity for tobacco as well. Typically the the length of a 38 ring gauge, particularly something like a petit corona, for example, works very well for me in that kind of size. So if I was to choose Hoyo, what would you kind of steer me towards in that respect?

Eddie Sahakian Hoyo in size, it seems a little bit thick, but I would go with the Epicure number two and it's cigar I've smoked many times and it's a classic robusto. So it's a fifty ring gauge and a smidgen under five inches in length it's going to give you 45 minutes, maybe 50 minutes smoke at a normal pace. But of course, the size seems intimidating if you're not smoking cigars normally because of its ring gauge. It's not. It's merely a play on the dimension but what it will give you with that extra thickness is initially a lighter, less heated experience on the palate.

Omar Sure. the smoke has more time to cool as it travel through the cigar, correct?

Eddie Sahakian Exactly. Exactly right. The body of the cigar acts as a giant filter and it cools and smooths the smoke as it hits your palate. But of course, that develops and as you smoke the cigar through, not only is the smoke that's already in the body of the cigar getting burnt again, but of course, who palate's developing as well. This is a very important part of the cigar smoking experience that people perhaps don't appreciate before they've done it themselves, which is that the cigar is not just a vessel of taste. The cigar will taste different to each and every palate, it'll be affected by what you've eaten and drunk recently in your mouth, it will also be affected as you smoke it through and as the chemistry in your mouth changes and the natural organic chemistry that comes out of the cigar through the smoke into your mouth is deposited there and it will excite and stimulate different parts of your palate. It'll be the traditional flavour elements on the tongue, it'll be further up in your in your sinuses, you're not inhaling cigar smoke so there should be no interaction with the lungs or even the back of the throat too much. However, it changes. A great cigar, in my opinion, should be a cigar that begins in one way and has a story to tell and that story is different. It doesn't stay the same identical flavour profile all the way through. That becomes a boring cigar, in my opinion.

Omar Indeed, I think that's really quite interesting because a cigar should have Peaks it should have valleys and crescendos, it's taking you on a journey at the end of the day, particularly if you have an aged cigar and that's something that I'd like you to touch upon in a minute, because it has been something that I've really enjoyed. I can't remember who it was that that said this but they said a cigar is always a living thing until you until you light it and there's other people that say a cigar is a living thing until it's completely finished. but essentially It's always a living thing. You have to store it, you have to take care of it, you almost have to mother it to a certain extent. And again, storage is a very scary thing for beginners, which is which is why beginners tend, aside from budget, tend not to buy boxes because they they like to go into a store and buy a thing or whatever, whatever it might be, unless you're lucky enough to have a locker at a cigar club or something along those lines. But one of the questions that was quite prevalent with me is growing up, when providing advice to me about cigars my father always said to me, Cuban, Cuban, Cuban, that's all you need to know. And there's one brand you need to know, Omar, and that's Cohiba and there's only two Cohibas you need to know the Esplendidos and the Siglo six and that's it, that's all you need to know. But I would think, I don't know about that, you know, but when I when I talk to people, they say, hey, you need to look beyond that, because the new the new world industry has an extraordinary selection of cigars. Eddie, if I was to ask you, what are the defining factors between, aside from location, from a new world cigar to a Cuban cigar that a beginner should know when when entering a cigar shop?

Cohiba Siglo VI Taken on Nikon Z6

Cohiba Esplendidos Taken on Nikon Z6

Eddie Sahakian Very good question. Let's begin with the basic difference, the Cuban cigar is a puro by definition. So every leaf that is put into that has been grown in Cuba and there's no blending beyond the natural blending that happens between the different levels of the leaf, the type of leaf that goes into it that's all grown in Cuba. The majority of new world cigars are, for want of a better description, a blend. And by that, we mean they're not using only tobacco produced in that country of origin. So Davidoff factories in Dominican Republic, they buy the bulk of their tobaccos and grow the bulk of the tobaccos in Dominican Republic. But of course, they have plentiful coming from Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador, Cameroon, Connecticut and the skill set of the master blenders at the Davidoff factory is a very nuanced one because they have to be able to think and foresee how cigars are going to be ageing and enjoyed not just with the leaves they know from Dominican, but with a whole series of leaves that are coming in from some of the finest farms and tobacco growers in the world. So that's already probably the most important difference. Then, of course, the very specific terroir and climate that is associated with certain Cuban cigars and, you know, Cuba's a very Long Island, it's about a thousand miles long and there are pockets of areas in Cuba where tobacco or premium grade tobacco is cultivated, grown and harvested, and where specifically those are can make a difference. But overall, if the leaves are from the best areas in Cuba, they're going to be used in what we call export grade cigars. They're going to be used in Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo Y Julieta and others. The blending that will take place will be specific to the brand that they're representing so Partagas is going to have a certain recipe of the leaves between the ligero, seco, volado and other bits and pieces, if it's Cohiba it'll have another one. Of course, the skill of the of the master blender who's creating that recipe and the rollers who are putting that all together will hopefully mean that you're going to get the overall same DNA and flavour profile across years, across boxes and so on. It doesn't always happen that way, but that's the whole idea.

Cohiba, Hoyo, Romeo y Julieta and Vega Robaina Taken on Nikon Z6

Omar Sure. And I think it's an important point to mention there, actually, because historically, because of Cuba, with the way that it was run, everything was pretty much, you know, they were essentially a communist country where everything was state owned. It's a great point you mentioned with the recipe and I think for a beginner, it's great to know most of if not all the Cuban brands, are all owned by the same company, Habanos. Is that correct?

Eddie Sahakian Yes. Yes, that's exactly right. And it is still state owned fundamentally, although they do have a significant partnership. They had it with Imperial Tobacco and an Imperial Tobacco sold their investment to to another company. But that aside, it's still fundamentally state state owned and state controlled.

Omar Right. And from what I understand with the with the Habanos portfolio of brands, people don't necessarily just go for brands because of the sake of the brand, they go for brands because they enjoy the recipe of that brand. For example, people who I know enjoy full-bodied cigars will tend to lean towards Bolívar, Partagas, Cohiba, things like that. People who enjoy a lighter to medium body will go with Hoyo. H.Upmann, would you say Montecristo is in there as well or not so much?

Eddie Sahakian No, I would put Montecristo around medium strength. Lighter ones for me would be H.Upmann, Hoyo, El Rey Del Mundo and perhaps a little bit of Quai D'Orsay, Por Larranaga. But yes, you're absolutely, absolutely right. Your observation is correct. You're getting a particular flavour profile and strength profile when you're smoking a Partagas versus a Bolívar versus a Cohiba or a Hoyo.

H.Upmann Petite Corona Taken on Nikon Z6

Omar The way that I kind of saw it is it's almost like the menu offering of Habanos, every brand caters for a different palate as it were. Of course, there are some brands that some of their cigars may be lighter, some of their cigars may be a bit more full. But generally speaking, if people like a fuller body, then they'll go for a particular brand. And that that was something that I found quite interesting when I understood the workings of Habanos. In fact, the way i see it is most of the brands don't really compete with one another it's more like, hey, if you like this, then you smoke this. If you like that, then you smoke this. If you're a lover of cigars, cross pollinating and experimenting with different cigar brands depending on your mood should be a regular practice.

Eddie Sahakian Yes, I think that's right. I mean, if I think of my own smoking profile, you know, it covers pretty much everything and anything and depends on your mood, on your on that moment, the timing of the day, how much time you have. But there's very few cigars that I absolutely can't smoke and dislike. That's normally a function of quality, not origin. Everything else is very subjective and up to your palate and the moment and I would describe it probably very similar to fine wines and many of your listeners will probably be familiar with with wines. Of course, the big Chateaux from Bordeaux are traditionally, the powerhouses but of course, these days, you can't consider yourself a true wine aficionado if you haven't tried wines from Italy, Spain, California, multiple regions of France, Chile, Argentina I mean, the list goes on and on and on. It's exactly like that with cigars. You can enjoy, you can be a cigar lover and and be very agnostic when it comes to brand selection. You might go through periods where you fall in love with a particular vitola in a particular blend.

Omar I just want to clarify, Vitola is the Cuban word for size?

Eddie Sahakian Yes, exactly right. Exactly right. Yes. So as an example, you might fall in love with the Partagas D4. It's a robusto and you might smoke that exclusively for four months but many people will often get bored of the same thing after too long, so that's when you might find the same customer coming in saying I want something different today. And it could be very different. So that's the wonder of our palates and, you know, always listen to your palate. As a cigar merchant, I'll give advice and my own experiences to a customer but your palate is the most important and valuable tool you have to enjoy cigars, listen to it. And if you smoke a cigar, you don't enjoy it because your palate didn't enjoy it, not because you've done something wrong. And many people come in with a cigar and they're a bit shy to say, you know, I don't know, I bought this Cohiba and everyone said it's amazing, but maybe I smoked it wrong, it didn't taste that good to me. Assuming they didn't smoke it wrong, the answer really is that, well, it wasn't the right cigar at the right time for you. So don't worry, just don't smoke that again, try something different.

Omar I actually found myself in a very similar situation when I was smoking only - this was very early on in my cigar journey - where I had really started to enjoy H.Upmann Half Corona's. I didn't have a lot of time to smoke, I had about twenty minutes and that was the perfect cigar for me. All of my friends enjoyed it as well, most of whom were not cigar smokers, in fact most of them were trying to get off of cigarettes and they were and they didn't want to be caught dead with a vape. So i must comment on what you said earlier, I love the fact that you said that a cigar is enhanced with the with the environment that you in with the people that you're with. And I say to people very often that a cigar on your own encourages reflection and a cigar with people encourages conversation.

Montecristo Half Corona Taken on Nikon Z6

Eddie Sahakian wow, very, very well said.

Omar Thank you. That's something I really find myself when I'm on my own and I'm having a cigar I find myself thinking quite deeply about things and some of my best thinking is done on my own with a cigar. But yet some of my most memorable conversations are with friends and people who perhaps I want to be my friend, are enjoying a great cigar. So as I was saying earlier, I found myself really enjoying the half corona by H.Upmann, but I had become bored of it, I had had enough of it. I thought, hey, I want to try something new. So the guy at Dunhill pulled out a Trinidad Coloniales.

Eddie Sahakian Oh, yes.

Omar And he said, hey, try this. Have you heard of Trinidad? I said, Not really, no. He said, well, it's a really great brand that used to be only for the diplomats and it was Fidel Castro's favourite brand and all this sort of stuff. And I said, oh, lovely, let's try it. And I hated it. I really didn't like it at all. And I think it was because there was a knot in there and they replaced but I didn't enjoy the experience. It was a bit too harsh for me. Maybe I got a dud cigar. I'm not too sure. But I came back and I felt very nervous, I felt very, very shy, I thought I'd made a mistake, I'm going to offend somebody, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, he was so encouraging and enthusiastic about this, about the cigar. So I felt very nervous. But that's the thing, like you said, cigar smoking is all about your own experiences and that's the fun of it. You invest your time and your money and thirst for knowledge because you want to maximize your experiences. And that's essentially what cigar smoking is, very similar with wine, with whiskey, similar with coffee. You have to experience, you have to try, you have to taste and and really explore the realms the practice has to offer.

Eddie Sahakian I couldn't agree more. Omar, you you put it into words beautifully and and I very much I could add, you know, with the year we've had the year gone past, I know everyone has realized the fragility of life and that we have one life and that we could possibly have a very short life. If you're going to enjoy things, you know, there was so much deferral of pleasure and postponement, of satisfaction, of experiences for the short term interests of getting work done, perhaps accumulating resources to be able to do the things later in life or just feeling like it's the occasion isn't special enough to warrant this particular cigar or glass of wine or whiskey or whatever it might be. I think we've all come out of this experience realizing, you know what, any day is a great day to celebrate being alive, having friends, you know, just enjoying it and just ignore the price tag on a cigar. A day doesn't pass where I have a customer saying I bought this limited edition 10 years ago and, you know, I paid thirty pounds for it and now I look, it's 300 pounds. I can't possibly smoke it. And I always tell them, look, I know there's an opportunity cost because in their mind they think they could sell it and get something else for it but I say are you going to smoke it or do you want to sell it and they say no no one day i will smoke it. So why wait and ignore the price? Today's market price is nothing to do with either what it cost you or the fact that, we we have a finite time on this planet. Enjoy it! You can't take the cigars with you right? As much as Churchill would have enjoyed doing that, I'm sure.

Omar Absolutely. Absolutely. You've put it truly eloquently and I feel as though that things like cigar smoking, cigar smoking more than most, in fact, is truly an exercise of doing something that you enjoy. I have to say one thing that I have a tremendous amount of respect for my father is he has unknowingly collected some of the most desirable cigars that money can buy right now, if he was to put together his humidor today, he wouldn't be able to afford it if he was to buy the cigars that he has today at the current market price. And you know what I think he has. I think I saw in his humidor he has a Vega Robaina Unicos from the from the mid 90s, which are fairly rare. There's El Trovador Jamaican cigars in there from the 80s.

Eddie Sahakian Oh, my God. It's real history there.

Omar Yeah, it's it's really quite extraordinary. I was telling him yesterday, I said, you've got some real great cigars in there but none of them are full boxes! You're smoking them like crazy! Maybe you need to calm down and he said he said, hey, listen, I bought these with the intention that I will smoke every single one of these cigars and it just so happened that my taste lead me to very desirable cigars but back then, they were 20 or 30 pounds a stick. The Cohiba Piramides that he got were 25, 35 pounds a stick. He said, I have no intention of ever selling them so what does the current market value have any impact on whether I'm going to enjoy them now tomorrow, a week, a month, I will smoke them when I want to smoke them. End of story.

Eddie Sahakian He is very wise indeed.

Omar That's the fantastic thing, and that that really opened my eyes up because let's say you buy a very nice suit one day and everyday you say I don't want to wear that today, I want to save that for a good occasion. Every day can be a good occasion if you make it, if you do the things that you enjoy, if you have a good outlook on what you're doing, everyday can be can be a day to celebrate. And I think that cigar cigar smoking adds to the occasion. Just a coffee with my friends is immediately upgraded once we had a cigar. To touch upon what you mention earlier Eddie with regards to affordability, I say to my friends buying a Starbucks every day seems to be normal and that's three or four, even five pounds, extremely calorie rich too! Cigars have no calories! So if you put your 'starbucks budget' together, that's one or two cigars a week very easily, all of a sudden its not something unreasonably expensive. So, again, it's just because the majority of my audience, are like myself, millennials, who are probably spending three or four pounds a day on a coffee, but are immediately irked at spending 10 pounds on a cigar. So I think definitely it's one of those things where if you're going to go into it, you have to go into it knowing that enjoyment is the number one factor here, that's all it's really about. It's about enjoying the moment, enjoying the cigar and finding what works for you and not being shy about expressing your experiences, whether they're positive or negative.

Eddie Sahakian I couldn't agree more. With budget, you know, we all have considerations, of course, and I love the way you've done the financial calculation because so many people, they come in, they see a cigar for 15 or 20 pounds and they think, oh, that's expensive. Yeah, but compared to what?

Omar Exactly!

Eddie Sahakian That cigar could give you one hour of undiluted pleasure.

Omar Absolutely.

Eddie Sahakian I would never advise a cigar smoker to to spend more than they're comfortable spending, but I would always tell them there is a cigar for every budget, and a good cigar for every budget. It's not that you are going to have a miserable experience of 15 pounds and experience at 300 pounds is going to be, you know, transcendental. Not at all. You can have exactly that joyous, fantastic, wonderful experience of 15 pounds, 25 pounds at 50 pounds, It just depends on getting the right cigar at the right time with the right people.

Omar And I have to say, a lovely way to end the conversation is to say that the right people would have to be yourself at Davidoff Of London

Eddie Sahakian Ah, you're very kind!

Omar I have to say, when I found my passion in cigars dwindling, it was the videos that I saw of yourself and your father online that enlivened that passion. So I have to say thank you from me for, putting yourself on the Internet for everyone to enjoy. I know that people are really going to enjoy this conversation as well and it's been an absolute pleasure for me. I do believe we the last time we spoke, we were on the phone for a couple of hours!

Eddie Sahakian Yes i remember!

Omar Discussing everything from cigars to headphones to hi fi to Internet security, the whole shebang. And, you know, it's really been an absolute pleasure to be able to talk to you, I have to thank you for your time as well. I know that you're extraordinarily busy so for you to dedicate that amount of time to me I really appreciate it. And hopefully soon I'll be able to join you in the store and that's something I really do look forward to.

Eddie Sahakian Thank you so much, Omar. Thank you for being willing to listen to me for an hour and my time is always available to you. It's a pleasure. More importantly, I really look forward to welcoming you in store. We will enjoy a cigar together, put all this theory into practice. I thank your listeners as well for putting up with what I've had to say for the last hour or so and of course, should any of them be inspired to visit our store I hope we can welcome them as we would welcome everyone and help them pick a nice cigar for the afternoon.

Omar Absolutely. And if anyone does end up popping in or end up trying a cigar on the basis of this, then please, just in the comments, let us know and if you've got any questions for for Eddie pop them in the comments and I'll make sure that I forward it over to you.

Eddie Sahakian Thank you so much. It'll be a delight.

Omar But once again, Eddie, thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure. I look forward to having more of these conversations as well. But it was it was really very, very lovely. Please do pass my regards over to your father as well, I hope he's in good health and and your family as well.

Eddie Sahakian Thank you so much. And to yours and especially to your father for keeping those wonderful cigars. I Wish you a wonderful day Omar.

Omar Thank you, Eddie.

Eddie Sahakian Take care. Bye bye. Bye.

47,466 views15 comments


Nov 13, 2021

So damn cool! My dad used to smoke the same cigar once a week and I have always thought it was so cool. Next week I will be having my first cigar for my brother wedding, thank you for the amazing content!


Jun 07, 2021

Awesome, thank you for this great content. I hope we can see more of Eddie on your platform, maybe the podcast? I can imagine this being very nice to listen to.


May 28, 2021

I find sometimes you need to do things that are outside the usual ideals of a healthy lifestyle for your own enjoyment. Cigars is something i have always thought is just too cool for me but this has given me the confidence to try it out! Thanks for the amazing content.


May 22, 2021

Some incredible cigars you have there Omar. Great post too, thank you for taking the time.

Jun 05, 2021
Replying to

Hi Usman, thank YOU for taking the time out and your very kind comments!


May 20, 2021

What a great post, I was wondering what accessories would I need to smoke a cigar?

May 20, 2021
Replying to

Hi Faizan, great question and one that will be answered in depth in an upcoming blog! However, off the bat I would say a butane lighter/cedar matches and a guillotine cutter is all you really need to start smoking.

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