Château Smith Haut Lafitte outside Bordeaux. Photo credit: Caudalie/ MCellard

Anyone longing for an authentic French beauty experience need only enter the Caudalie Spa in the Westfield Century City Mall, where you will find yourself transported to the vineyards of Bordeaux and experience the exceptional health benefits of Caudalie’s Vinotherapy for the skin. I had the pleasure of indulging in a fabulous facial at this deeply relaxing spa and was intrigued by its wonderful history.

The story of Caudalie, which means “the haunting scent of wine”, originated in the family estate vineyards of Matilde Thomas at Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux. During the 1993 grape harvest, a chance encounter with world-renowned Polyphenols specialist Professor Joseph Vercauteren made Matilde aware that she was throwing away treasures. The esteemed professor explained that the grape seeds, skin, stalks and sap from the vines were packed with polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that combat aging with potent anti-aging properties.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte outside Bordeaux. Photo credit: Caudalie/ MCellard

Passionate about anti-oxidant-rich skin care, Matilde and her husband Bertrand founded Caudalie in 1995 in partnership with Professor Vercauteren. For over twenty years Caudalie has invested in research using the grapevine as a boundless natural resource and source of inspiration.

The first Vinothérapie Spa, featuring innovative beauty treatments based on the grape seed polyphenols, opened in 1999 on the grounds of the Château Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard. In the heart of this bucolic setting, the Caudalie philosophy was born, selecting the best natural, environmentally friendly ingredients made only in France. Through the years the collaboration with Professor Vercauteren resulted in securing several major worldwide patents, along with developing other substances that have exceptional benefits for the skin.

The spa at Les Sources de Caudalie,
Château Smith Haut Lafitte outside Bordeaux. Photo credit: Caudalie/ MCellard

Along with embracing eco-friendly ingredients and recyclable materials, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas are strong proponents of “responsible beauty that respects the planet.” To that end, Caudalie is part of “1% for the Planet” and donates 1% of its global sales to environmental causes. Caudalie’s commitment to the planet made me feel even better about my petite indulgence.

I love wine and grapes, so a facial inspired by the vineyards of France was very appealing. I was very excited that my skin would be enhanced by their patented vine extracts.

The spa at Les Sources de Caudalie,
Château Smith Haut Lafitte outside Bordeaux. Photo credit: Caudalie/ MCellard

The spa menu features seven different types of facials, from the Express facial for those on the go, to the ‘crème de la crème’ anti-aging Premier Cru facial. Body treatments embrace the vine as well, with the Crushed Cabernet Scrub and the Fleur de Vigne Body Treatment among the many choices. The spa boutique boasts an extensive product line that addresses each specific skin type.

My experience began as I entered the spa, a welcoming and tranquil oasis in the city, with two cozy, comfortable treatment rooms. I settled onto the heated treatment table and felt cocooned in warmth. I sampled the thorough and luxurious Premier Cru facial, with an added Oxygen Serum Infusion. A deep cleansing was followed by a light exfoliation. Then the magic began with a stimulating massage and use of a derma-roller to enhance skin penetration of their anti-aging powerhouse potion – Premier Cru. While the Premier Cru mask was applied, a brief neck, shoulder, arm and foot massage completed the whole rejuvenating experience.

Barrel bath, spa at Les Sources de Caudalie,
Château Smith Haut Lafitte outside Bordeaux. Photo credit: Caudalie/ MCellard

My spa experience was relaxing and serene. After the facial, my skin felt healthy and looked radiant. I left in a state of bliss, feeling the beneficial effects on both my complexion and my mood.

French women view beauty as an “art de vivre”, a way of life. As I savor my experience, I understand this mindset, and can only add, “Vive Vinothérapie!”

The spa at Les Sources de Caudalie,
Château Smith Haut Lafitte outside Bordeaux. Photo credit: Caudalie

Caudalie Boutique Spas in Los Angeles:

Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
(424) 313-8629
[email protected]

Abbot Kinney
1416 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA
(310) 450-3560
[email protected]

Château Smith Haut Lafitte outside Bordeaux. Photo credit: Caudalie/ MCellard
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Barbara Gerber
A native of Los Angeles, Barbara is the France Today Ambassador for L.A. She graduated from UCLA with a BA degree in Political Science, and also received her JD degree from UCLA School of Law. While at UCLA, she spent her junior year in Grenoble, France. From that time on, she has been an avid and passionate Francophile. She has visited almost every region in France, and still pursues French language courses in Los Angeles. She has an apartment in Paris and continues to visit France every year.

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