The Skilled One : Claus Porto
The answer is their love for Claus Porto’s rich, fragrant and creamy soap bars. The handcrafted soaps infused with fine fragrances and wrapped by hand in beautifully illustrated Art Deco packaging appeal to the senses and are great gifts.
Based in Porto’s lush countryside - the soap company was founded in 1887 by two Germans, Ferdinand Claus and Georges Schweider. They saw in Portugal an opportunity to set up a business that was flourishing in countries such as France. Having targeted a wealthy elite, accustomed to buying imported toiletry products, they founded the `Fabrica de productos chimicos Claus & Schweder’.
It was a bold initiative by the Germans to invest in refined products but a bet that paid off since the quality of the products immediately received international recognition and awards. In 1899, the soap bars received an award at the Saint Louis (USA) Universal Exposition.
As the first rumblings of World War I stirred in Europe, Claus and Schweider closed down the factory and fled Portugal. In 1918 just after the war, one of the employees Achilles Alves de Brito acquired Claus Porto and casted a new light on the soap company turning it into a premium brand. Preserving its know how and introducing the Musgo Real line created in 1920, a signature fragrance allowed Claus Porto to flourish and establish itself as an international luxury brand.
Besides the acclaimed quality of their extensive range of product lines one special feature strikes a chord on everyone’s heart. Its beautiful packaging celebrating La Belle Époque. The company has its own design and printing department since 1953 and their graphic outputs belong to the national history of Commercial Design.
For over 130 years, the company has adapted its strategy to conquer new international markets and opened 550 square foot of retail space, in New York City in 2018. The store nestles among the stylish boutiques, designer jewelry shops and cozy coffee-shops of Nolita, a charming Manhattan neighborhood famous for its trendy yet cozy vibe.
Placing Claus Porto in select design shops and locations and creating exclusive fragrances for niche markets are all part of the company’s endeavors to develop and expand.
However the success of Claus Porto lies essentially in the quality of their products and their selection of fragrances. Red poppies, roses, jasmine, orchids, violets to name a few, the mixtures are sometimes sweet, sometimes sensual, sometimes intense. Among the favorite fragrances is the citrus scented bath line which is Claus Porto’s best seller.
Adapting to an ever changing market is necessary but sticking to a natural handcrafted know how is even more of an asset today. According to Mr. Fernandes, CEO of Claus Porto, the success of the soap company is due to the soaps being natural and eco-friendly, a claim many companies cannot make, which attracts younger clients.
Claus Porto’s soap bars are a « labour of love ». Each charming hand wrapped and beautifully illustrated soap is made from scents evoking the rich floral diversity of the Portuguese countryside. A little piece of paradise to take home with you and share with others.