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Cigars, style and scents - A conversation with Jasim Ahmed

Pairing cigars with perfume, drawing inspiration from cigar boxes into fashion choices, and the changing culture around tobacco smoking – just some of the topics Master of Habanos, style icon and social media star, Jasim Ahmed discussed with Sam and Jacob from Les Deux Canards earlier this month.

Sitting in one of the beautiful rooms at Ten Trinity Square members club, just down the corridor from their amazing cigar lounge, Jasim told Sam and Jacob about his passion and appreciation for the world of cigars, as well as his rise on social media and the increase of young aficionados.

Talking flavours, Jasim says the balance, smoothness and complexity are what captivates him about a cigar. Although "The best judge for what sort of cigar you like, is always yourself".

The beautiful cigar lounge at 10 Trinity square members club

Thinking about his number one smoke, Jasim says: “My favourite cigar brand is Trinidad, but the Cohiba is very close. I have an emotional connection with the Trinidad brand and it has a significant power in my lifestyle." , but the Cohiba brand holds a special place in his heart “because that's the first cigar I smoked, a Cohiba Corona Especiales - gifted to me by a colleague”.

Jasim believes Trinidad and Cohiba are “the best of what Cuba can offer”.

Cohiba Coronas Especiales

During our chat, it was clear to see Jasim’s passion and love for fashion shine through his infectious personality – wearing his signature Panama hat, striking tie and a suit while smoking a Cohiba Robusto. He looked like the complete gentleman.

He tells us he has always been interested in colours when it comes to fashion, and interestingly enjoys matching his outfit with his stick of choice for the evening.

LDC mid-conversation with Jasim

“I love colours, and all I have to do is to look at the cigar boxes for inspiration."

“If you look into any cigar brands, you see the significant power of those boxes. Look at Romeo y Julieta, they put white and red together and there is gold element too. Look at Ramon Allones, there is a green box and it has a brown tint to it."

“These are things that big brands in the world, they copy the same thing. You look at Gucci, they put red with green. Look at Cohiba, they put white, black, yellow, and orange together. Similar to Hermes, and that works magic.”

He adds: “The cigar brands have a lot of thought processes that go into this and that inspires me to mix colours. And sometimes when I go out and I have an idea to smoke a Cohiba for example, I try to connect with a golden tie with a black jacket or a yellow shirt. And then that works, you know, because that is the exact colour of the cigar you're smoking."

“It's a match made in heaven.”

When it comes to pairing what he's wearing with his cigar of choice, Jasim doesn’t stop there. He tells us he is also a fan of pairing his perfume with his smoke.

“Perfume can change the way you enjoy the aroma of the cigar,” Jasim thinks.

He says no perfume can overpower a cigar, but instead the scents can work well together. He says: “A cigar has much more power in its aroma, so nothing can go beyond it."

"Tobacco is much much more powerful than any perfume. It stands out.”

But the pairing of cigars and perfumes is difficult in Dubai "The etiquette is three sprays, but here.. its thirty!"

He tells us that trying to pair a perfume with a cigar is a “very interesting phenomenon”. "You want to avoid the hands and wrists whilst smoking a cigar, otherwise it can fight the tastes"

We talk about how the essence of cigars and tobacco has even worked its way into the perfume industry.

He adds: “Hermes is now using tobacco, Christian Dior is using tobacco base, Jean-Paul Gaultier is using tobacco base – the principle base for many perfumes is tobacco.”

Jasim also talked to LDC about the changing culture around tobacco smoking and the emergence of young aficionados. He suggests the “the camaraderie behind this passion is unbelievable”.

He believes the future of cigars is bright, with more young people getting involved in the lifestyle and learning at a younger age than ever.

Social media could be an influence here, with more and more pages such as Jasims' cropping up to highlight the excellence and lifestyle associated with cigars. However his focus has always been education.

Jasim has seen exceptional growth on social media in recent years, especially on Instagram, boasting hundreds of thousands of followers. He says social media has been “a platform for education”, as well as fostering a sense of community and education among cigar connoisseurs.

He also tells us he actually started a YouTube channel before his Instagram page in the hope of educating youngsters and aficionados alike.

However, this was short lived due to pushback about the promotion of tobacco. Jasim tells us somebody complained about tobacco being promoted, which actually got his channel shut down. He now prefers to focus on Instagram reels, which he says are gaining the most views across his channel.

Looking forward, Jasim believes: “A lot of young aficionados will be emerging in comparison to what was happening before. Back in the day, it was people who were in their forties and fifties, that had this wonderful enjoyment of the cigar lifestyle. Today, it starts from early twenties and youngsters are trying, enjoying, and wanting to be in the lifestyle.”

Jasim discusses the ongoing issues with rules and regulations surrounding the tobacco sector. “I've seen many, many rules and regulations about people who are born after a certain age and a certain year that they are not able to enjoy tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, whatever it is, and I believe that this is just a kind of regulation they're trying to put in.

“I personally don't think it will succeed because there are so many other bigger problems in the world than this.”

Jasim’s advice for those looking to explore the world of cigars? That’s simple. “You don't have to imitate anybody. You don't have to do this lifestyle to show off. Take your time and smoke a variety of cigars.”

Jasim says he’s excited to see how the cigar world evolves over the coming years, as more and more people are choosing to explore this passion.

“The future is very bright,” he believes.

Hear more from our full conversation with Jasim, dropping soon!

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