131 years ago, Ferdinand Claus and Georges Schwedder, two renowned German chemists, moved to Porto and opened the first national soap and perfumes’ factory, Claus & Schweder.
Inspired by Portugal, they sourced local ingredients from all over the country to create unique hand-crafted fragrances, all wrapped by hand in packaging’s with distinctive artwork. What started as a small workshop became, in a few years, a factory with the most modern equipment then available. By the turn of the century, the company already enjoyed international recognition and was awarded a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Saint Louis.
In 1908 Portuguese employee Achilles de Brito, who started working in the factory in 1903 as a bookkeeper, is offered a business partner position, after Schweder early retirement due to illness. A few years later, in the wake of the First World War, Ferdinand Claus is forced to leave the country and the company is nationalized, leaving Achilles de Brito in charge.
Achilles was a visionary and continued to expand the business and building the brand. In 1953 the company even opened its own lithography studio, bringing packaging design in house. Claus Porto’s full production process, from manufacturing to packaging design, was now handled within the company.
Achilles de Brito’s great grandchildren, Aquiles and Sónia Brito, started a new chapter in 1993. After buying the company to their uncle, they successfully introduced Claus Porto to important markets such as the US, Canada and England. Guess what Oprah Winfrey, Kate Moss and Nicolas Cage all have in common? Yes, they all love Claus Porto products.
Captivating scents, ornate design and old-world craftsmanship have been the pillars of Claus Porto’s beauty and fragrance house for over a century. Nowadays, the brand is present in over 60 countries in stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Harrodds, Galeries Laffayette and Le Bon Marché.
If you are in Porto or Lisbon, make sure to look for their own brand stores, they sure deserve a visit.
Each one is unique, filled with pieces of history and a world of wonderful fragrances.