L’Institut Guerlain, Maison Guerlain: Luxury of time

We take a look around this stunning flagship spa in the heart of Paris


By Mark Smith

01 December 2019

In a superb location on the Champs-Élysées, the House of Guerlain was first opened by the Guerlain family in 1914 with construction work led by the architect Charles Mewès, who also created the iconic Ritz hotel in Paris.

Occupying the first floor of Maison Guerlain, L’Institut Guerlain opened in 1939 as the world’s first beauty salon. Today, this flagship urban spa combines its pioneering expertise with deeply personalised wellbeing and luxurious, efficacious treatments.

As Guerlain 68 Institute manager Véronique Jacquet explains, the focus is on providing an intimate guest experience and made-to-measure treatments. “We welcome our clients as if they are at home, so we don’t have an obvious reception when they first arrive and our living room area is called the private salon,” she says. “We ask our clients to arrive 20 minutes before their treatment begins, so we can make them really comfortable with slippers, a perfumed towel and refreshments.”

A wall of natural orchids fills the window of the private salon reflecting Guerlain’s perfumier heritage and echoing the extract of orchid used in the signature Guerlain anti-ageing skincare product collection, Orchidée Impériale.

The first floor of the building is a protected monument steeped history with avant-garde art, marble and wood features. The corridors boast stunning white plaster rose-and-leaf lighting centrepieces created by Jacometti with silk paper and water artwork by Claudine Drai.

Results-driven treatments are delivered in a relaxed but exclusive ambience

The scent of success

Nine minimalistic but luxurious treatment rooms benefit from natural light and feature treatment beds by Gharieni. Large marble wall reliefs provide a striking focal point in a design palette that runs from orange and peach to white and beige. Drawing on the brand’s rich history, each of the rooms is named after a different Guerlain perfume.

While the menu features bespoke therapies that are exclusive to the flagship Guerlain spa, guests buy a duration of time (beginning at 90 minutes) rather than a specific treatment. The treatment protocols are then adapted to each client based upon what they prioritise as their most important face or body concerns.

“Although we offer a very luxurious experience, we can create a lasting relationship that takes great care of every guest.”

Véronique Jacquet

Guerlain 68 Institute manager

Staff trained in more than 300 different massage techniques are referred to as ‘beauty experts’ rather than therapists, and there are no communal changing spaces, with guests able to disrobe in their own treatment room.

“Our Beauty Lift aesthetic facial massage is very popular,” Jacquet explains. “Guerlain specifically developed a massage with very strong, deep movement that intensely exercises the facial muscles. It is results-driven and delivers lasting effects without using any machines – just hands.”

“At L’Institut, we celebrate the very highest attention to detail,” Jacquet continues. “How we greet our guests is just as important as delivering excellent treatments – the reception is the first and last impression of L’Institut so it is vital to the success of our spa.

“We offer prestigious treatments but we don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. All of our staff are specially trained to be both natural and accessible, so although we offer a very luxurious experience, we can create a lasting relationship that takes great care of every guest.”

L’Institut Guerlain offers classical Parisian style

Spa Statistics

L’Institut Guerlain


Size of spa: 360sqm

Capacity: Nine guests

USP: The world’s first beauty salon, opened in 1939


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