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Our History

Our history is made of dedication and passion. From the love and care that we put into what we do, and that shines through to those who buy our products. It can be summarized in a very simplistic way: we took risks, faced adversity, and knew how to look for an alternative that made us progress and continuously improve.


It was 1999 when Aquiles Barros, then 26 years old, a professor of Chemistry at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, was challenged to create a factory that would produce luxury perfumed soaps for an American brand.

He, with his bewildering optimism, said “why not?” and the rest is history. In 2000, Castelbel started production, with only six workers and an annual turnover of 150,000 euros.


Our name reflects two characteristics that remain intrinsic to us, combining the name of our land (Castêlo da Maia, in Greater Porto) with the word beauty, which is present in everything we do.

Much could be said about our history and the facts that mark us. Some will say we were lucky to be able to reach more than 50 countries and make 10 million Euros a year, but we say we knew how to look for our luck.


In 2006 we launched our own brand of scented products for the body and home, which was joined by the premium brand Portus Cale in 2007. All this while continuing to produce aromatic soaps for some of the most important and reputable brands in the world.

We have within us the same spirit that led us to discover new worlds, and this made us follow a path of searching (of opportunities) and challenges (which we never refuse).

The secret to our success is that we genuinely enjoy what we do and value what truly matters: people. None of this would have been possible without a dedicated team that started with 6 fearless, pioneering workers. By the end of 2018 we were already over 200 and in 2019 we moved to a new home to continue to grow.

More than ever, our products continue to be inspired by the idyllic scenery of the Douro River valley and by the best that Portugal has to offer, capturing the aromas, colors, and atmosphere of Portugal, a country that is both traditional and cosmopolitan, whose sun, heat, and sea are nourishment for the soul and comfort for the spirit.

If you are not yet familiar with our scented soaps, room fragrances, and body care products, join us on a journey of the senses.

"We don't make soaps, we make gifts"

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