Design Crush #3

January 25, 2014

Couto toothpaste 1

My design crushes are usually way beyond the realms of my budget and are items that I admire from afar. However, sometimes the artistry of the design in an everyday item can turn it into an object of great pleasure for the home aesthete. The packaging of this Portuguese toothpaste from the 1930’s is unsurpassable. Like an object from a Victorian apothecary the design of this paste, which has remained unchanged since 1932 is perfect.

Couto toothpaste screen-shot-2013-02-21-at-9-15-01-pm

It was created by Dr. Alberto Ferreira Couto in 1932 in the city of Porto in Portugal. It is now such an established brand in its home country that “Couto Paste” is still a synonymous term for toothpaste. It has been a staple product at one of my favourite East London stores Labour & Wait for years. Despite remaining unchanged for 80 years Couto tastes surprisingly good, its not as abrasive as more modern toothpastes which is something I thought I’d miss but the aftertaste is really pleasing, delicate but still strong. When I brush with it, it reminds me of overnight stays at my Grandma’s, I have no idea what toothpaste brand she used but I find Couto really evocative of her in the same way Imperial Leather hand-soap and bottles of gold Loreal Elnett hairspray will always smell of childhood memories with my Gran.

Couto also make a wonderfully packaged Vaseline, which you can also buy through Labour & Wait. If you like the look of vintage paste there is a lovely Italian range called Marvis which comes in an array of brightly coloured boxes and ridiculously enticing flavours like Cinnamon Mint and Amarelli Liquorice Mint. Now I just need to find an equally stylish toothbrush…

COUTO_VASELINE_grande marvis toothpaste

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