Over the 20th century, the Claus Porto family house gradually became part of Portugal’s cultural and historic heritage, thanks to their perfumes, but mostly their luxurious soaps carefully wrapped by hand in printed, coloured papers that left a strong impression and are still found all over the world.
In 2015, the brand started afresh when the Brito family, who had directed the Ach Brito company for over a century (they also owned Ach.Brito and Confiança Lisboa, two brands specialized in toiletries and shaving products), sold the majority of the capital to an investment and risk capital company, Menlo Capital. A new team was put in place, led, among others, by artistic director Anne Margreet Honing and perfumer Lyn Harris, who creates the Miller Harris perfumes. Together, they endeavour to draw inspiration from the brand’s heritage to open it up to new horizons.
“It is a great honour and responsibility to manage a company with such a history. Our job consists in making this heritage take on a new dimension and creating a new era for the brand,” reveals CEO Francisco Neto.
To celebrate this adventure, the brand has launched a new fragrance for their 130th anniversary. “We are revisiting the brand through its exceptional DNA, and Le Parfum illustrates this approach with an exclusive strategy,” adds Francisco Neto.
Claus Porto Le Parfum is an edition limited to 1,887 copies (1887 is the year the House was founded), and the series number is engraved by hand on every bottle. Through this exclusive approach, Claus Porto intends to reinforce their niche, lifestyle-oriented brand reputation.
The juice was born between Lisbon and Porto. Anne Margreet Honing and Lyn Harris wished to convey the trip’s scents, emotions and encounters with citrus fruit, fig, and cedar wood notes. “This perfume evokes a break across Portugal, the discovery of its treasures,” explains Lyn Harris.
Famous for their soap packaging, Claus Porto wanted a bottle that would live up to their fame. The artistic director plunged into the House’s archives and found inspiration in a bottle that dates back from the 1930s: they reinterpreted it by creating a smart, uncluttered bottle with curved, prominent lines, topped by a white cap, and featured in a white marble box.
“Those that already know the brand will discover something new, and those that do not will discover a very delicate, unique fragrance,” claims Francisco Neto.
Distributed overseas in independent perfume stores and department stores – Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Liberty and Harrods in London, barber shops and concept stores – Claus Porto is also available in Paris, mainly at the Bon Marché department store, but also at Marie Antoinette’s, a perfume store in the Marais Quarter in central Paris. After opening wholly-owned stores in Lisbon and Porto, the brand is considering doing the same in big capitals like New York, Paris, Tokyo and London.
“We like highlighting our luxury niche brand status. It is conveyed in packaging, raw materials, materials, prices, points of sale…,” the CEO concludes.