Tag Archives: Guerlain Spa

The Gift of Guerlain for Mother’s Day


Guerlain’s Abeille Royale range, used in the Abeille Royale facial at the Guerlain Spa

Mother’s Day is looming and, partly in the interests of inspiring readers whose mums live near Edinburgh, and partly because I am 100% convinced there is no danger of my being given anything even remotely as luxurious by my ten-year-old sons, I felt I absolutely had to accept the invitation from the Guerlain Spa at The Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh to sample one of its three limited edition Mother’s Day packages! I opted for the Couture package, the centrepiece of which is the sumptuous Abeille Royale – guaranteed to make any mother feel like a VIP during it, and look like a MYP (much younger person) after it ..

The inspiration for each of the exclusive treatments is La Petite Robe Noire, Guerlain’s own fragrant tribute to the “little black dress”. The treatments have been created to celebrate the launch of Couture, the latest addition to the exclusive collection.

The award winning Edinburgh spa is the epitome of elegance, luxury and sophistication, and echoes the glamour and prestige of its peerless Champs Elysées counterpart.  With uniquely-tailored beauty and skincare experiences that draw on Guerlain’s long history, a visit to this sanctuary is surely the ultimate Mother’s Day gift.

Couture package (£99; one hour, 30 mins)
* full use of the spa facilities
* La Petite Robe Noire fragrance journey
* relaxing footbath
* Abeille Royale Expert Facial Treatment
* Touch of Colour
* For further information or to book, call the spa reception on 0131-222 8836.

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Get Radiant with Guerlain …

GuerlainHow, I wondered as I lay back and awaited the start of a “Complete Facial” at the sumptuous Guerlain Spa at Edinburgh’s Caledonian Hotel yesterday, are the Parisienne fans of my favourite facial experience coping while the Guerlain Institut at 68 avenue des Champs-Elysees is closed for renovations?

The Complete Facial – one of Guerlain’s classic staple treatments – is the centrepiece of one of the Complete Radiance package (£99)  currently on offer at the Guerlain Spa – until November 15.  The Complete Facial is one of the most sublime (and addictive!) beauty experiences around: it’s a tailored facial which lasts 90 minutes and is almost like a comprehensive overhaul of the complexion. It kicks off with the selection of a Guerlain scent with which to fragrance the treatment room and the footbath which is administered before each facial begins.

This treatment is sheer relaxation all the way – especially if you ask to skip the “extraction” (of blackheads) stage which follows a gentle steam of the face. While I floated off into a state of semi-consciousness, my hands were pampered with a paraffin mask, and I was given the 19-minute, Guerlain facial massage, before Jen, my therapist, applied a mask. While it was working its magic, I enjoyed a soothing scalp massage. I really felt that I had been pampered from head to foot by the time I left.

* The Complete Radiance package, which also includes a mini makeover, and use of the spa facilities, is available until November 15 at The Caledonian in Edinburgh. For further information or to book, call the spa reception on 0131-222 8836 or visit http://www.thecaledonianedinburgh.com/guerlain-spa/overview.html

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Guerlain Forever

Guerlain pic

A few of my favourite Guerlain things …

It’s 21 years since I first fell in love with the luxurious French beauty company Guerlain. This fact dawned on me last week, as I floated in and out of wakefulness during my first-ever experience of a Guerlain facial in my home country of Scotland – at the recently opened Guerlain Spa in The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, in Edinburgh.

My first encounters with Guerlain all took place in its home town – of Paris. Back in 1992, I was a student living and working in one of the more upmarket suburbs to the south of the city. Having worked initially as an “assistante” (language assistant) in a lycée, I had decided to stay on for the summer and, having  turned down offers of work at EuroDisney and  The Hard Rock Cafe (both of which would have done my French language skills no good whatsoever), I found a job in the Saint-Germain-en-Laye branch of the costume jewellery shop Agatha.

My friend, Anne-Sophie, was already a Saturday girl there and she helped me land a summer stint as a salesgirl. At the same time, she provided me with a basic education in French beauty rituals…. in particular, her must-have make-up – Guerlain’s Les Meteorites. I had never seen anything like these little shimmering balls of coloured, Parma violet-scented powder, but Anne-Sophie swore by them – and her luminous complexion certainly made Les Meteorites seem like a worthwhile investment.

Once I was aware of Guerlain – brand-aware as the 20-year-olds of today might say – it seemed to become a recurring theme.. My boss, a feisty Spaniard who exuded a sultry sex appeal, always had a bottle of her signature scent, Jardins de Bagatelle, stashed behind the boutique’s counter; my first encounter with fake tan was Terracotta, as used by one of the other girls in the shop; evening strolls along the Champs-Elysees in the summer meant a chance to ogle the elegant Guerlain boutique at no68…. And so on. Guerlain was Paris. And Paris was Guerlain.

The summer after my stint in France ended, I returned to Paris for a holiday, but the year after that, I was working full-time as a journalist and couldn’t get away. In readiness for my first big assignment, I had my first-ever splurge in a department store beauty hall. I don’t remember planning it, but it was probably inevitable that I ended up at the Guerlain counter, buying a coral/red lipstick and matching nail varnish; a purchase which I now look back on as marking a sort of coming-of-age style-wise. It was the moment I started forging my own path – a path that has led me back time and again to Guerlain.

The house of Guerlain marks its 185th anniversary this year so to celebrate that, plus the recent opening of its first UK spa, at The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh, I’ll be running a series of articles on Guerlain this week – and at the time of the anniversary celebrations, in the autumn.

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Bonjour Paris!

Every trip to Paris should start with a visit to the Champs-Elysees  .. not just for the grandeur of the avenue, and the majesty of the Arc de Triomphe – but for a pilgrimage to another timeless landmark of that famous street, La Maison Guerlain  and, above it (at no68), its elegant spa (tel 01 45 62 11 21; spachampselysees@guerlain.fr).

I’ve been there twice before – I seem to be on a five-year cycle – and the facials I’ve had there are among the very best I’ve had. Anywhere. Indeed, my last visit was – until I returned on Thursday – probably the most relaxing and effective facial I’ve ever had.

The spa takes up a vast space – all white walls, marble tables, gilt mosaic tiles and parquet floors –  and offers a wide range of treatments. Last Thursday, I had the “Complete Facial” (195 Euros), a tailored facial which lasts 90 minutes and is almost like a comprehensive overhaul of the complexion. The experience kicks off, however, in an airy, sun-kissed room of little booths in which the therapists administer a footbath before each treatment. My therapist, Marion, asked me to select a Guerlain scent with which she would perfume the bath. I chose the eau de cologne Imperiale, a classic, citrusy cologne – it seemed more apt for a spa experience than my favourite Guerlain scent, the sexy and exotic Vol de Nuit.

Then it was back to the “cabine” for the full facial extravaganza. It was only when the steam machine kicked in – after Marion had removed my make-up, and cleansed and scrubbed my skin – that I had a flashback to my last visit to the spa: I suddenly remembered that blackhead extraction had been the only non-relaxing part of the process. And so it was again – though, thankfully, Marion didn’t exhibit the same gleeful enthusiasm as my last Guerlain facialist had.

Thereafter, it was sheer relaxation all the way. My hands were pampered with a paraffin mask (they had already had a gentle scrub, while the steam had been working on my pores), and my face was treated to the signature, 19-minute, Guerlain facial massage, before Marion applied a hydrating mask. While it was working its magic, I was given a head massage. I really felt that I had been pampered from head to foot by the time I tripped out on to the Champs, feeling and looking as if I had been completely revived, and with any puffiness drained from my eyes and jawline.

It all set me up nicely for the rest of my trip – though I did push myself a little too hard to get everything done/seen that I wanted to do/see. This included going to hear the fab Curtis Stigers and his band at the Duc des Lombards club (the sharp-suited Stigers is certainly – like Monsieur Astaire, pictured above – a man who belongs in a style blog); spending the Le Bon Marche gift card which my three girlfriends Siobhan, Lizzy and Colette (AKA “Les Filles”) had given me back at my 40th (I bought a Pucci scarf – with which I fell in I love on the spot as I cruised the accessories department), and going to the opening of an exhibition about the legendary gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Along the way, I marvelled at the dazzling range of hair accessories in Le Bon Marche – there may be a recession on, but it hasn’t hit this department of the store, where I watched Parisiennes blithely spending 80 Euros on an unusual barrette or Alice band – and miraculously discovered that my favourite (and, I thought, defunct) stationery range, Tout Note, has been reborn and is now exclusively available from a shop (also called Tout Note), at 35 rue Jussieu, a short walk from where I was staying.

I bought myself a large blue notebook (I’ve had red, pink and green from previous collections) which fits in perfectly with what seems to be my current blue period.

As does the bag I couldn’t resist in a shop in which I’ve had success before. La Vitrine, on the rue Dauphine, is a gem of a boutique, stuffed with covetable leather bags at unbelievably reasonable (and non-Parisian) prices – and its owner is always ready to make you an offer you can’t refuse.. I ended up with the same bag in two colours – and only for a little more than the cost of a Bon Marche barrette!

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