The story of two Germans and the oldest soap factory in Portugal

Ach Brito Soap History

In 1918, Achilles de Brito and his brother Affonso de Brito founded their soap and perfumery company, Ach. Brito.

However, the Brito family's journey into the world of fragrances had already begun a few years earlier, with Achilles de Brito's collaboration with the two Germans Claus and Schweder, who had emigrated to Portugal. Achilles first worked as an accountant and later as a partner in the "Claus & Schweder" company in Porto. At the same time, it was Portugal's first soap and perfume factory, which was even visited by the last Portuguese king Dom Manuel II, who brought his wife Auguste Viktoria a perfume from "Claus & Schweder".

Oldest Soap factory

Due to the First World War, the founders Claus & Schweder fled back to Germany, unexpectedly leaving the company behind. In the following years, Achilles de Brito was involved in the nationalisation process of the Claus & Schweder company, which was eventually sold. In 1917 Achilles de Brito finally left the company, and in 1918 the Brito brothers decided to found the company Ach. Brito company.

With solid knowledge acquired during his time at Claus & Schweder and an entrepreneurial vision, Achilles de Brito began the journey to Ach. Brito with firm steps. In 1925, he even managed to acquire the Claus & Schweder company, which gave today's luxury brand Claus Porto by Ach. Brito gave continuity.

Several successful products were launched in the early years of the company, some of which are still marketed today, such as the Luxo-Banho brand, registered in 1927, the Patti and Lavanda brands, both registered in 1929, and the Musgo brand, registered in 1939.

Historical packaging Claus Porto Ach Brito

Ach. Brito soon distinguished itself by the quality of its formulas and the beauty and visual detail of its packaging. The labels were originally hand-painted, which gave them an even more special character and clearly distinguished them in the world of perfumery.

The slogan of the time, "It doesn't get any better than this!", illustrates the success of the company, which gained notoriety over the years and collected national and international awards. This recognition led the company to set up its own lithography in 1953, which not only produced the packaging for its own brands, but also labels for other well-known companies such as Tabaqueira, Sandman, Real Companhia Velha, Porto Calem and many others.

When creating the lithograph, the production process is carried out entirely at Ach. Brito: from production to labelling and product packaging.

With the advent of modern distribution in the 1980s, the company went through a particularly difficult period. In 1994, Achilles de Brito's great-grandchildren, the siblings Aquiles and Sónia Brito, decided to take over the entire company and began a profound restructuring to meet the demands of the market. The strategy was redefined, the product portfolio was reorganised and the brands were repositioned.

With the new strategy, the brand Ach. Brito mainly targeted the domestic market, adding several brands that had fallen into oblivion, such as Lavanda, Patti, Luxo-Banho and many others. To stand out from the competition and large multinationals, the company preserves the production process using traditional methods, continues to develop quality formulas made from the best raw materials and maintains care and rigour in the aesthetics of the packaging. The focus is on quality, not quantity.

Modern soap factory Ach Brito

Since then Ach. Brito has regained the prestige and élan of earlier times and is conquering its place not only in the domestic market but also abroad.

Source photos: Ach Brito

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