September 29, 2010
For the ultimate in luxe, nothing beats the Spa Guerlain in the Champs-Elysées showplace created for the perfume company in 1914. With its ornate iron-filigree facade, multicolored marble interior and crystal chandeliers, the downstairs boutique is a classified historic monument. When the beauty institute opened above it in 1939, it was avant-garde both in its design, by Diego Giacometti and Jean-Michel Frank, and its treatments, directed by Dr. D’Aubiac, a dermatologist who developed a unique method of facial massage.
A renovation done several years ago restored the luster of this legendary parfumerie, and although most of the attention went to the boutique, the institut, now rechristened the spa, also had a face-lift, and Frank’s palatial entrance hall, rejuvenated by interior designer Andrée Putman, is a fitting introduction to the experience of a Guerlain facial.
After changing into a peignoir, I was escorted into an espace de relaxation where beautifully carved boiseries framed a marble fireplace and long, gauzy white curtains created a private space for my footbath. (Among the choices offered as a fragrance for the water was an old favorite—Shalimar.) Suitably pampered and prepared, I returned to the spacious cabine for my soin du visage complet, which included nearly 20 blissful minutes of facial massage. After the final mask was removed, the esthetician gave me a quick remise en beauté, and the makeup she applied was so flattering that I left not only with a velvety smooth face, but also with a divine new lipstick and eyeliner.
68 ave des Champs-Elysées, 8th, 01.45.62.11.21
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