Natural, beautiful and ephemeral. How did Claus Porto soaps become a luxury object?

When in 1887 the German citizen Ferdinand Claus inaugurated the first national perfume and soap factory in Oporto, he knew that he was responding to a need totally in the spirit of the time.

European cities enjoyed a peaceful climate between the Franco-Prussian War and World War I, a sadly short period but rich in quick changes in cosmopolitan lifestyles, with the emergence of the automobile, the telephone or the cinema, and with the sophistication of the entertainment, haute couture, perfume and personal care industries. It was no coincidence that they called it – Belle Époque.

But what Ferdinand Claus could not know was that today, more than 130 years later, Claus Porto soap brand retains the difficult art of turning a perishable everyday object into a moment of luxury.

Just like a century ago it takes time and patience to produce a Claus Porto soap. Claus Porto Soaps have a vegetable base and are perfumed with the most diverse fragrances and essential oils. The grinding has to be a repetitive process to ensure a smooth feel and a lasting scent before the lamination phase that ensures greater durability. lastly, the beans are compacted into a long bar of soap ready to be cut into several shapes and styles.

The utmost care in packaging is one of Claus Porto’s brand images. In the 1950s, the company created its own lithography where it produced the packaging. Today Claus Porto soaps are carefully packed by hand, one by one, in packages that bring back the spirit of the Belle Époque, even after the graphic developments that have been introduced, such as the Musgo Real range, one of the most emblematic Claus Porto brands, launched in 1936.

The evolution of the factory and its products was anything but linear. Founded in peacetime the factory underwent some changes during wartime. But the quality remained, as did the desire to perfect and sophisticate their offer, without losing the initial spirit.

Factory management is now the responsibility of the 4th generation of Achilles de Brito, accountant and partner of the company since the first decade of the twentieth century. Already in this decade, Claus Porto has reinforced its luxury lifestyle brand image, with new creative director Anne-Margreet Honing leading a group of European talents, including renowned British perfumer Lyn Harris.

In addition to the soaps, Claus Porto now has a portfolio that includes cologne, moisturizing creams, shaving products and household products.

For a closer look at Claus Porto products, the Porto Flagship Store is worth a visit, in a 19th-century building, or the Lisbon store, both in the city centres. The brand is also present in New York, in what is its first international store, designed by Tacklebox Architecture.

You can get to know more about Claus Porto at and when you can no longer resist you can still join The Arch Club which offers you exclusive products and services.


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