In an age of blaring trademarks emblazoned on everything from sneakers to T-shirts, here's a product that states its presence with a whisper. The stamp of Elie Bleu on these cigar scissors is barely noticeable at first blush. But on closer inspection, one notices that the long, frosted, tapered handles that extend from the cutting edges to the foot form an undulating "E" on one side and a "b" on the other and initial the company name.
Designed by Elie Bleu and handcrafted in France by Eloi, the smooth curving and stainless-steel scissors are quite a departure from the hard lines of your mother's sewing shears. The rounded and polished blades wrap around the tip of the cigar and slide together seamlessly. Just 200 of the scissors were made in this limited release.
If the scissors are understated in how they announce themselves, they also say something subtle about the refinement of the man who uses them. Not as easy to wield as a guillotine cutter or as convenient as a punch, the scissors are the tool of a seasoned cigar aficionado with a slow hand and a sense of elegance.
The trick to using cigar scissors is to cut slowly and at an angle, but most smokers learn that the hard way—by mangling the heads of a few cigars. Hold the cigar in one hand, open the scissors with the other, and press the open jaws of the blades to the wrapper, holding the scissors angled toward the hand holding the cigar. As you slowly close the blades, rotate the scissors so that the cutter becomes perpendicular to the cigar. Best not to use it on the go. Sit down and take your time. Once you get this down, you'll appreciate the skill of the cut and the admiring gazes from less accomplished smokers.
The Elie Bleu Scissors retail for about $220 and come elegantly wrapped in a blue-suede carrying pouch for safekeeping from prying eyes. Available at the Elie Bleu boutique in Paris and finer tobacconists in the United States.