Claus Porto, Luxury Soaps Since 1887

Last November, I spent my birthday weekend in Porto, Portugal, a gorgeous port city just North of Lisbon. Located along the Douro river, Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and a part of the city was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. What initially attracted me to Porto was  its internationally famous production and export of Port – fortified wine. With numerous wine caves, cellars and lodges open for tours and tastings, Porto is a long running mecca for wine aficionados and those fascinated by the history and culture that surround the Douro.

While tasting my way through Porto with many a selection of incredible Port wines and indulging in local cheeses, I came across many small boutiques selling artisanal Portuguese products. What caught my eye were stunning soaps packaged in what looked like incredible works of art! Of course I had to have them and find out their story…

A Brief History:

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The fist national soap and perfume factory started in 1887, established by German settlers in Porto – Ferdinand Claus and Georges Ph. Schweder. At a time when soaps and perfumes were only affordable to the wealthy upper class, Claus & Schweder appealed to many for their high quality products that later were to become part of the habit of the Portuguese. Their popularity grew and even attracted the attention of the then king of Portugal, D. Manuel II.

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In 1914 the factory closed, as the two German founders fled Portugal due to the the first World War. Later in 1918, a local man named Achilles de Brito teamed up with his brother Afonso to acquire Claus & Schweder’s bankrupt business and breathe life back into it.

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In 1953, Ach Brito’s new strategy to set these products apart from all the rest, led him to restructuring the production process, adding lithography  to print text and artwork on to the packaging.

In 1968, Ach Brito celebrated its Golden Jubilee and Claus & Schweder  celebrated its 81st anniversary. In that same year, this most celebrated factory in Portugal was marked as “The Largest, Best and Most Experienced Perfumery Factory in Portugal”.

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In 1994, the fourth generation of the family started to lead the company and partnered with American company Lafco NYThis was yet another turning point for the company that led to the relaunch of what is now known as Claus Porto.

The Soaps I Took Home With Me:

I sniffed so many soaps that day and these are the beauties I took home!
Claus Porto – DECO Collection: Acacia Tuberose Bath Soap
Claus Porto – DECO Collection: Almond Oil Soap
Claus Porto – DECO Collection: Mimosa Bath Soap
Beautiful attention to detail!

 

 Claus Porto is now available at Etiket.ca! 

Each soap is 100% vegetal and enriched with Shea butter that is made and milled respecting the traditional process of fine soap making. Each soap, is hand wrapped in a unique and exquisite Art Deco package that has been inspired by the original design of vintage labels. Whether you treat yourself, or you are looking for the perfect gift, each of the soaps  and candles are part of an unforgettable collection of scents.

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Some Photos From My Trip To Porto:

Tasting and Tour at Graham’s Port Lodge. My top picks: Graham’s Fine Ruby and Six Grapes Reserve Port
São Bento Train Station
The narrow streets of Porto. Lovely!
Tile (azulejo) panels on churches and buildings that depict scenes of the History of Portugal
Beautiful day in late November!
Francesinha (meaning Little Frenchie or simply Frenchie in Portuguese) is a Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto, made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat and covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce served with french fries. A must try when in Porto!
The Douro is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto.
I take photos of cats everywhere I go…
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Porto’s historic centre is the Ribeira district, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Stunning early-20th-century buildings.
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More Port tasting….

 This was my first trip to Portugal and will certainly not be my last! I had a wonderful time and there is still much to explore!

 Tip: Port is twice as strong as your typical table wine, and Porto’s many lodges and wineries will serve you a glass or two for free, so be sure to pace yourself;)

Natalie Cola,
The Etiket Insider Beauty Editor

About Etiket

Etiket is a luxury retail and on-line destination providing the best in cosmeceuticals, skincare and beauty products as well as exclusive perfumes and accessories. At our boutique we also offer a range of esthetic services.

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