Claus Porto is a Portuguese soap manufacturing company that, since its inception in 1887, has become one of the most prestigious soap makers in Europe. As of recent years, they have began to offer their products to American consumers in fourteen fragrances ranging from Favorito (Red Poppy) to Lelite (Orange Amber) and Ilyria (Honeysuckle), all encased in the most beautiful vibrant art deco packaging.
Being somewhat of an almond addict, the first scent I had to try was Alface. As Kevin found in his experience with the Alface candle, it is actually quite an unusual almond fragrance. In bar soap and body cream form the scent at first does not seem too remarkable; I initially considered it a slightly nutty almond with faint perfumey almond blossom accents that was nice, but nothing extraordinary. In the liquid soap form however, I noticed that after the sharp cherry-almond in the application, the soap left behind the most luscious mélange of honey and sweet florals lingering on my skin, a bouquet that I found happily reminiscent of one of my favorite perfumes, Dorissima Goldmund.
Trying the body cream and soap again, I noticed that they have this same luscious perfumed honey accord, albeit regulated somewhat to the background. Nonetheless I am thrilled, as each product layers wonderfully with the Goldmund. I have long lamented the lack of matching body products to accompany Dorissima, and am thrilled that Claus Porto has finally answered my wishes in this range of very affordable bath and body products.
Scent aside, the Claus Porto products are of a truly lovely quality as well. As mentioned before, the packaging is a beautiful art deco design, and the liquid soap as well as the cream come in sleek, sturdy, transparent and easy to use plastic pump-bottles. The Shea & Jojoba Body Cream ($22 for 12.5 oz.) is lightweight and leaves skin wonderfully silky. The hand-milled Shea Butter soap ($14 for a 12.34 oz. bar, $22 for three 5.28 oz. bars) is very moisturizing, lathers well, and does not dissolve away quickly. My only complaint is that it is not entirely ergonomic — its so large and heavy that I live in constant fear of breaking my foot if I accidentally drop it in the shower. For this reason, I prefer to use the Aloe Vera Liquid Soap ($17 for 13.5 oz), which makes a great hand soap as well as a great body wash. It lathers and moisturizes well, and leaves a beautiful honeyed scent lingering on my skin for almost an hour after use.
Overall, I have been very impressed by my experience with Claus Porto's products and am quite eager to try their other fragrances, especially Tabaco. For buying information, see the listing for Claus Porto under Perfume Houses.