The Best Hostess Gift (to keep for yourself)
By Gigi Anders
You know how they say to give gifts you’d like to get? Well, I do that but I always end up having to buy one for myself too. Good taste. My cross to bear.
Such is the case with Claus Porto. Leave it to a German expat called Ferdinand Claus, living in Porto, Portugal, to open that country’s first soap and perfume factory back in 1887. The company built its name on luxurious, hand-crafted soaps infused with fine fragrances drawn from Portugal’s lush countryside. Herr Claus was obviously refined, intelligent, and sophisticated: The marriage of his native culture’s to his adopted one begat a uniquely beautiful brand that’s marking its 130th anniversary this year.
Today, all Claus Porto products look and feel both Old World artisanal and completely of-the- moment. You’ll want everything. So just surrender. Impress your Hamptons hosts with Claus Porto’s new bath and body products and hide your stash at home. I’ve chosen one floral set and one citrus set to keep everybody happy and elegant all summer long.
Chypre Cedar Poinsettia Liquid Soap ($30) and Body Moisturizer ($36). Don’t let the word “cedar” throw you. That’s a minor note in this orgasmic cocktail of wonder. This a floral-scented body wash, whose aloe leaf extract and glycerin cleanse gently, soothe, and moisturize skin as you wash. Once you’re dry, the light fragrance lingers -- notes of tangerine, grapefruit, orange leaves, blackcurrant, crushed roses, and a hint of cedar wood. This is what a Portuguese princess by way of Karl Lagerfeld smells like. All the time.
If, God forbid, a man were to use it in the shower – they tend to grab whatever’s right in front of them -- nobody would be sorry. That hint of cedar makes this kind of gender-neutral.
The matching body moisturizer is somewhere between a cream and a lotion, and it too is luxe perfection. Enriched with jojoba oil, cocoa, and shea butter, it smooths and delicately scents on contact. Vitamin E protects skin from oxidative and environmental stressors, and protects natural moisture reserves for a more even, supple, enhanced appearance.
Oh, and note that all these products come with pumps. We love pumps.
Unfortunately, the Banho Citron Verbena Liquid Soap ($30) and its bath mate, Body Moisturizer ($36), are both so stellar that you really will have to hide them away, lest a man attempt to use. Because this fresh citrus feast of lemon, orange, and mandarin infused with verbena, basil, musk, and vanilla is gender-bending heaven. Or, maybe just heaven.