phone icon888-812-4427 account icon cart icon
account icon

Cigar Glossary

We love a good cigar and all things humidor-related. We’ve gathered common terms and definitions of cigar humidor culture to help aficionados of all levels better understand cigar concepts and issues, and what to look for in a good humidor cabinet.


Contact our humidor experts to discuss the best cigar storage options for your space or check out these expert resources:



BIN DIVIDERS – Fixed or adjustable partitions in Vigilant cigar bins that separate some cigars from others. They are used in loose cigar bins or drawers.

BLOOM – Bloom (often called plume) refers to the slow rising of essential oils to the surface of the cigar. It first appears on the surface of the cigar as tiny crystals and will eventually make the cigar appear dusty. A more advanced bloom gives an opaque white look to the entire cigar. Bloom is not harmful to cigars. It is an indication that the cigar has been maintained at a 70+% relative humidity for a long period of time. Many smokers prefer a cigar in the bloom state.


CIGAR HUMIDOR – Any container designed for storing cigars or other tobacco products at a constant level of humidity. Most humidors are made of wood with Spanish cedar linings and mechanical devices for maintaining humidity.

CLIMATECH – Vigilant’s featured humidor line. Insulated, heirloom-quality cabinets that monitor and control the humidity level, while the computer-controlled, thermo-electric assemblies gently control the cabinet’s interior temperature to within 2% of your desired setting.

CROWN MOLDING – Elegant top molding crafted of solid mahogany and used on the top of some of our Cigar Cabinets.


DISPLAY CABINET – Available in both the Guardian and Sentry lines, these cabinets maximize cigar display and storage capacity while protecting the condition of your cigars with our industry-leading electronic humidification systems. The cabinets have the option of glass doors, allowing for full display. All cabinets are constructed of Honduran mahogany and feature solid brass hardware.

DISTILLED WATER – Collected water vapor that is free of impurities and most minerals. Distilled water is perfect for humidifying cigars, it has none of the additives present in most domestic water supplies, such as chlorine.


ELECTRONIC CIGAR HUMIDOR – A humidor that has electronic moisture control, ensuring constant and accurate humidity levels.

END TABLE – A piece of furniture designed to sit at the end of a couch or next to a chair. End tables range in height from 25″ to 32″.


GUARDIAN – The Guardian line includes models that are more moderately priced than the top-of-the-line Reliance humidors. Handcrafted of Honduran mahogany and includes the same precision humidification system as the Reliance line, but offers fewer options regarding finishes and hardware. The Guardian Humidification System digitally controls and displays the humidity level in your cabinet, allowing you to adjust the humidity exactly to your preferred level.


HUMIDIFICATION SYSTEM – Any device that humidifies the air. For cigars this can be a “passive” or non-electronic system or more accurate “active” electronic systems.

HUMIDITY ONLY – A Vigilant term referring to cigar cabinets and humidors that feature electronic humidity control only and not temperature.

HYGROMETER – A mechanical indicator that displays the relative humidity of a space. Traditional non-electronic analog hygrometers are generally accurate to about 10% while electronic digital versions are accurate to less than 5%. Vigilant hygrometers are accurate to 2%.


IDEAL HUMIDITY – The ideal humidity for storing cigars is 70% at 70˚ F. As temperatures rise above 70˚, the relative humidity (to temperature) must drop in order to keep the cigars at the proper moisture level. The opposite holds true as well: as temperatures drop below 70˚, the relative humidity must rise to maintain proper moisture level.

INTERIOR LIGHT – Any light used to light the interior of a Vigilant cabinet.


LOCKER CABINET – A cabinet with multiple enclosures and doors for storing cigars for different people. Vigilant lockers feature a sophisticated humidification system.

LOOSE CIGAR BINS – Special bins built of either Spanish cedar or mahogany for holding loose cigars (versus boxed). Vigilant cigar bins are designed to accommodate multiple cigar shapes and sizes using infinitely adjustable dividers.


MOLD – Mold is a fungus. It appears on the surface of cigars when the relative humidity in your humidor exceeds 80%. It looks like blue/gray fuzzy patches on the surface of the wrapper and will spread by producing spores. If mold appears, you should remove the affected cigars and check for any mold on the wood of your humidor. It is important to separate the affected cigars immediately and to wipe down the interior lining of your humidor with isopropyl alcohol. This will kill the mold and may leave slight stains on your humidor’s interior wood.

Images of mold on cigars…


RELATIVE HUMIDITY – Relative humidity, sometimes referred to as “RH,” is the amount of water vapor (vapor pressure) in the air divided by the maximum amount of water vapor the air could contain at a given temperature before it would begin to condense into water droplets.

RELIANCE – Our handcrafted Reliance line represents, along with the Climatech line, the highest quality humidors you can purchase and offers the greatest flexibility in finishes and options. In-laid key escutcheons and traditional molding details, combined with the finest hardware and finishing techniques, make these cabinets future antiques. The entire Reliance line uses the Guardian Precision Humidification System – our most accurate – which digitally displays and maintains humidity levels to within 2% of your desired setting.

RESERVOIR BACTERIOSTAT – A solution that when added to your humidor’s reservoir water prevents or retards organic growth such as algae and mold. Our Bacteriostat is helpful in keeping humidor water cleaner longer.


SCRATCH REPAIR STICK (STAIN AND WAX) – A wax or solvent-based stick resembling a crayon or marker that can be applied to scratches in wood surfaces to blend them in with the finish.

SENTINEL – The Sentinel line is our most affordable option for cigar enthusiasts and retailers who are primarily seeking safe storage for their cigars. Sentry cabinets are made of Honduran mahogany and feature the Sentry Electronic Humidification System. The Sentry System is accurate to within 5% and features analog humidity control and an independent digital hygrometer. The one-gallon reservoir ensures your cigars’ well being for months at a time.

SPANISH CEDAR – A wood indigenous to Cuba and parts of Central America. Spanish cedar was the wood of choice for Cuban cigar makers because of its abundance, low cost and work-ability. However, Spanish cedar proved to be an ideal wood for holding the moisture of the cigars and even is attributed with enhancing flavors. Spanish cedar should not be confused with Western red cedar (used commonly in closets), which has a strong aroma and can ruin cigars.


TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY CONTROL – A Vigilant term referring to cigar cabinets and humidors that feature electronic humidity AND temperature control. Climatech cabinets offer this feature.

TOBACCO BEETLES – Better known to entomologists as Lasiodorma Serricorne, the tobacco beetle can infest your cigars. The problem of the beetles is generally limited to Cuban cigars. Refer to our Cigar 101 page to read more about them.


WICKING FILTER – A paper based filter that is used for “wicking” moisture from a water reservoir into the air. Wicking filters must be clean in order for them to work properly. Each of our humidor lines need different sized wicking filters.