· Health&Wellness · · T. Cristina Freire

Casa Pau Brasil

Rediscovering Brazil on a celebratory journey of authentic luxury

Villas&Golfe Adv.
Unique Brazil, the one that lives in a distant imagination, can be found in the city of Lisbon to be rediscovered by anyone who enjoys authentic stories about people who have made and make products with what the land offers. The narrative is told, at Casa Pau Brasil, by some 20 or so brands on display, where a simple bar of soap or an armchair that caresses your body confide ancestral techniques to you, rediscovered by Brazilian creators.

When you enter the old Palácio Castilho, located in Lisbon, in Príncipe Real, a genuine Brazil is revealed to you, one where ancient mysteries prevail. The aroma that welcomes you takes you to old houses, where the smell of coffee mixed with wood gives you a feeling of comfort, the one you feel when you are at home. This is how your journey in Pau Brasil begins, the Casa that brings you the most authentic things the country, liberated by Dom Pedro I, has to offer. Over about six hundred square meters you can find cosmetics, fashion, furniture, design, art... and even real brigadeiros, making you forget any thoughts of your diet, can be found. But despite the great variety, one thing connects them all: everything is produced sustainably, whisking you off to an epic and warm Brazil, where the sounds of Bossa Nova made you want to pack your bags and head across the Atlantic. But now you don’t have to!
Globalisation has brought us the comfort of having at hand what you would find on the other side of the world. The idea of ​​having a Brazil in Portugal, where the blend of many peoples brought about a culture of authenticity, began when the mentor of the project, Rui Gomes Araújo, realized that the real country of Carlos Drummond de Andrade was still very unknown, as he tells us: «I felt that internationalising Brazilian brands of great quality might not be easy because preconceptions were high; Brazil just wasn’t associated with quality. So I thought it would be very important to have a space that demystified these preconceived ideas and could present this authentic and protected Brazil». 

The aroma that welcomes you takes you to old houses, where the smell of coffee mixed with wood gives you a feeling of comfort.

Rui Gomes Araújo, mentor of the projects
During eight years, the mentor of Pau Brasil was occupied with prospecting what he could best represent in Portugal and this ‘best’ does not mean the most expensive, rather the luxury that a memory or a story brings. And on this journey, he found Granado, a cosmetic brand for men and women, and essences for the home, which was founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1870, for which botanists created products with herbs and plants that grew on the land of the founder’s house. The brand grew in several segments but has never lost its secular beginnings, using natural products and essences, and that is why a simple bar of soap or a perfume are luxury products. Along with the cosmetics, the palácio is also home to works of art by designer Hugo França, authentic furniture sculptures, in fine wood, often sourced from forest waste or from naturally condemned trees, like the one that welcomes you at the entrance of Pau Brasil.
Here too are the famous armchairs of the late, well-known architect, Sérgio Rodrigues, who revolutionised the design of furniture using wood, leather and straws, and indigenous methods. Items of clothing are also part of this array of authenticity, as Rui Gomes Araújo explains: «one of the last brands to have arrived here features the work of Flávia Aranha; is very interesting, we are talking about a fashion designer who has begun to do a work about Brazil through fashion; she works with natural dyes, from plants, which she discovered in communities in the Amazon, where the process passes from generation to generation. This is discovering Brazil through fashion and many of her pieces result from pau-brasil (Pernambuco wood) dye». But the Casa is immense and has much to tell, to buy or just to see, since a visit does not cost anything and you can enjoy installations created by Joana Astolfi, ranging from the magnificent entrance to the corridors and rooms where we find the ocas, typical indigenous Brazilian dwellings. In the end you should take a break in a cosy space overlooking the garden and enjoy a coffee, joined by a genuine brigadeiro. And when Rui Gomes Araújo is asked just what concept he wants to pass on to visitors to Pau Brazil, his answer is clear: «we want to raise awareness of the Brazilian terroir; we want anyone who visits us to feel an experience of genuine authenticity, which has been established throughout the years; we want to show the luxury of sitting in a Brazilian armchair in Lisbon, or of experiencing Brazil nuts in a bar of soap or perfume.» In every space of each of the brands there is always someone who tells the story of the products and, in the end, you are able to understand that between aromas, colours and art there is a hidden story rescued by those who believe in the authentic.

We want to raise awareness of the Brazilian terroir (…) we want to show the luxury of sitting in a Brazilian armchair in Lisbon, or of experiencing Brazil nuts in a bar of soap or perfume.

Cristina Freire
T. Cristina Freire