Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Private Tour of Guerlain..? Oh go on then...

If you're going to go to the City of Lights, why not coincide it with a private guided tour of Guerlain's Institut de Beaute? Yeah. That's what we thought too.
This was particularly close to home for me as my Grandmother worked for Guerlain for a long time during her career (that's her in the banner) and I very proudly inherited (stole from my Mum) her collection of antique bottles, pins, brooches and various awards.


Guerlain recently purchased the third segment of their historic building facade bringing together the entire store as one...

Pop-up shop on left, main salon in middle and spa entrance on the right.


The 'new' side of the building is now home to a pop-up shop that will stay in place until they knock the entire building through at some point in the future. And what they have done is spectacular. Different sections for each department all beautifully executed.




The main focus of the pop-up store and the upper sales areas of the main building is the new Shalimar Parfum Initial - launching in the UK in September. Already a fan of the original fragrance, this is even better. It's lighter and fresher and yet loses none of its allure. I have come to think of it as the Summer version of the fragrance. I'll go back to the original one as the days get shorter..maybe..

After looking around the pop-up store we were taken back into the original salon where the first floor is an absolute haven of Guerlain's perfume history. Every fragrance is beautifully displayed and they have even made discontinued fragrances available in specialised 'fragrance cabinets' so that you can experience fragrances from a bygone era..


Raw ingredients in the VIP room - I promise we didn't touch


An original Baccarat Bee bottle
If Evadne was an excited pup during the tour of the first two floors, I practically turned into Scrappy Doo when we were taken via a private entrance to the spa.

This was established in 1939 by Guerlain as the first beauty institute in the world - long before Red Door was an apple in Elizabeth Arden's eye.
And it does not diappoint. Ten cabins and a separate greeting area where your feet are washed while your therapist talks through your skin concerns.
It still features the original marble and wall fittings and has been beautifully updated to provide modern facilities without compromising the original structure.

Double G towels and robes!
The main corridor (above) has most of the cabins leading off of it and I pretty much lost any pretence of cool at this point - I do believe I grabbed the robes and said: 'They have the double G on them!' like a mentalist.

After creeping around (the rooms were fully occupied - first thing on a Tuesday morning) so as not to disturb the clients we then floated off for a cuppa and a further chat about the history of the building and the Guerlain family.

If you go to Paris and have an interest in either a, Guerlain or b, architecture you would be doing yourself a big disservice to pass this store by. It was the absolute highlight of our visit for me and I'll be going back for a treatment in the Autumn.

Absolute bliss.
Tour was arranged by Guerlain's PR and this mentalist and Get Lippie are very very appreciative.
Massive thanks to Guerlain UK and Guerlain FR. Bah humbug to the security guard that said 'no pictures' who I as per usual, ignored.





5 comments:

  1. Love it. I have put it on my 'things to do in France' list. IT will happen...!! xx

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  2. Wow how completely exquisite and what an amazing experience! VERY excited to try the new Shalimar, though gutted I've got to wait until September to do so!
    Thanks for being naughty & taking these pics. Lloyd Grossman eat your heart out.
    X

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  3. Oh. My. God. Amazing! That bee bottle under a bell jar was enough for me. I definitely need to arrange a trip to Paris very soon. Thank you so much for being naughty and ignoring the guard!
    Jane x

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  4. Oh my. The place is so beautiful! Lol at your experiences. :D

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  5. Gorgeous enough that I would love to take a trip just to have a treatment or two...but i don't speak French! Would that be a problem or merely an embarrassment???

    ReplyDelete

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