Bi­llows of Smo­ke with Scent of a Wo­man

IN­SI­DE OR OUT­SI­DE CU­BA, THE HA­BANO HAS AL­SO CAP­TI­VA­TED MANY WO­MEN. ITS RI­TUAL AND MAS­TERY DAZZ­LES ELE­GANTLY, SE­DUC­TI­VELY, AND VI­TALLY FROM THE HANDS TO THE LIPS OF WO­MEN

Habanos - - Summary - BY / MELBYS NI­CO­LA PHO­TOS / JU­LIO AL­VI­TE / EX­CE­LEN­CIAS ARCHIVE

The­re is the smo­ke, the spa­ce, the warm smi­le (so­mew­hat naughty), cer­tainly em­po­we­red. The­re are the dif­fe­rent ex­pres­sions, the ways of re­con­nec­ting, of awa­ke­ning per­haps. The quo­ta­tion is a pre­text for many things that are va­lid, ten­der, so­ber, well lear­ned. Each mee­ting of the so­cio-cul­tu­ral pro­ject Ami­gas del Ha­bano has so­ro­rity, mys­ti­cism and a lot of sha­red wis­dom of its own. The jour­ney teed off a de­ca­de ago; a jour­ney that is not a mis­chief, be­cau­se it has ne­ver been a sim­ple ga­me, the short-li­ved fas­ci­na­tion or sheer ba­na­lity. It was, and it is, a call to learn mo­re per­so­nally, out­si­de of the gen­re box and pa­triar­chal boun­da­ries, about a pro­duct that enth­ralls and iden­ti­fies peo­ple: the Ha­bano.

The­re, the hands, the soft­ness, the af­ter­noon full of lights, well-po­lis­hed nails and ges­tu­res of mo­re or less young ages... The­re, al­so the turn, the puff, the scroll of smo­ke that wafts away. The wo­man smo­kes and tas­tes; the friend re­con­nects with ot­hers that, just li­ke her, ha­ve been con­que­ring spa­ces full of tes­tos­te­ro­ne. The som­me­lier, tho­se who are un­ders­tood, the in­te­llec­tual ones, the wor­kers, the sy­ba­ri­tes... all of them learn from so much and from such a depth; from beauty and from he­ri­ta­ge.

It would seem that the­re is no bet­ter ex­cu­se to gat­her such a di­ver­se bunch of la­dies. As an unu­sual host, to­bac­co tra­ces rou­tes that go from the his­tory of Cu­ba it­self all the way to its arts, lands­ca­pes, au­tocht­ho­nies and know­led­ge. Each oc­ca­sion is a feast for the sen­ses and a gat­he­ring for cul­tu­re. Not the ot­her way around. The se­rious­ness of the Pro­ject is pre­ci­sely what has gran­ted this out-oft­he-box coun­cil such vast wealth and know­led­ge to sha­re, let alo­ne res­pect ga­lo­re.

The li­ne al­ways re­mains the sa­me, alt­hough ines­ca­pably full of nuan­ces: to in­form and learn about the Ha­bano in ques­tion and the drink of choi­ce. Thus,

the Fe­ma­le Friends of Ha­bano (Ami­gas del Ha­bano) ha­ve puf­fed on world-class brands of the best to­bac­co in the world, such as Cohi­ba, Mon­te­cris­to, Romeo and Ju­lie­ta, Par­ta­gás, Ho­yo de Mon­te­rrey, H. Up­mann, and even ot­hers such as Cua­ba, Tri­ni­dad, Punch or Bo­lí­var, per­haps less known but equally ap­pre­cia­ted. As for the vi­to­las, the se­lec­tion has al­so been va­ried: thick or thin ring gau­ges, long or short si­zes. Ex­pe­ri­men­ta­tion has shown that, as in ot­her de­lights, tas­te de­fi­nes pre­fe­ren­ce. Whi­le so­me pre­fer Ha­ba­nos of round ca­li­ber, ot­hers ha­ve dis­co­ve­red a vo­ca­tion for sma­ller si­zes; and that's al­ways al­right.

In terms of har­mony, the spec­trum has al­so swa­yed he­te­ro­ge­neo­usly. Ne­vert­he­less, anot­her fruit of this Ca­rib­bean land pre­vails in the mee­tings: the Cu­ban Light Rum ta­kes the ca­ke. As an illus­trious child of this is­land na­tion, the dis­ti­lled spi­rit wraps pa­trons around its full body, ma­de up of tra­di­tions and the ex­ce­llen­ce of the ho­me­grown su­gar­ca­ne. Thus, rum and Ha­ba­nos ha­ve li­ve­ned up many of the wo­men's en­coun­ters. Thanks to this, it is no lon­ger stran­ge to hear par­ti­ci­pants re­fer to re­gio­nal sty­les of the spi­rit, to the te­rroirs of tas­te that best com­bi­ne with a cer­tain ex­pres­sion or pro­duct. It is even that demys­ti­fi­ca­tion the reason why the la­dies drink only sweet, light or mi­xed drinks.

And yes, we are re­fe­rring to only one group of wo­men, but the­re are many who to­day choo­se to ce­le­bra­te their triumphs, their ti­me, their af­fec­tions, ac­com­pa­nied by a Ha­bano. This ar­ti­cle is a tri­bu­te to all of them. It is mo­re and mo­re pal­pa­ble; it is not a ques­tion of en­jo­ying a pre­mium ci­gar out of eli­tism, snob­bery or me­re cir­cums­tan­ce. The cra­ving is the­re, the hobby exists and is en­han­ced; it is reaf­fir­med and it's al­so pro­tec­ted by ac­cu­ra­te know­led­ge. Out­si­de or in­si­de Cu­ba, the Ha­bano -the ico­nic am­bas­sa­dor of the lar­gest Ca­rib­bean is­land- has al­so cap­ti­va­ted many wo­men. From one end of the world to the ot­her, its ri­tual and lords­hip dazz­les ele­gantly, se­duc­ti­vely, vi­tally from the hands to the lips of wo­men.

It is that, when a Ha­bano is lit up, the se­duc­tion of the smo­ke, of the puff, of the pa­pi­llae in full exal­ta­tion, are simply un­ri­va­lled; everyt­hing is blu­rred in terms of gen­der. Men and wo­men find in Ha­bano an al­chemy that en­ve­lops and pier­ces. It's all about their sen­ses being overw­hel­med by a cen­tu­ries-old tra­di­tion, by a dif­fe­rent, pal­pa­ble and wi­se beauty. It is to­bac­co at its best, in its best ex­pres­sion, that speaks of plea­su­res and de­lights. It is tas­te, and the­re is a wo­man, who un­ders­tands, who choo­ses, who ap­pre­cia­tes, who knows whe­re she is hea­ded to. That is just anot­her reason.

THE SOM­ME­LIER, THE CON­NOIS­SEUR, THE IN­TE­LLEC­TUAL, THE WORKER, THE SYBARITE..., ALL LEARN FROM SO MUCH AND SO DEEPLY; FROM BEAUTY, FROM HE­RI­TA­GE

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