I recently experienced a most relaxing, and frankly unbelievable, Clarins ‘Beyond the Water’ (‘Au-Delà de L’eau’) treatment at the Molitor Spa by Clarins. A mixed body AND face ‘Signature’ treatment, ‘Beyond the Water’ is offered exclusively at the historic and beautifully restored Hotel Molitor and Club (Accor Group) home of the world-famous ‘Picine Molitor‘.
Having just concluded a busy month of travel and deadlines (or some other such excuse for taking a break), I decided that in addition to the spa treatment, I would pull out all the stops and purchase a ‘day’ pass to all the Hotel Molitor and Club amenities.
Arriving at 10:00, I passed through an entrance hung with black and white photographs dating from the 1930s, as well as reproductions of Art Deco stained glass windows from the original Molitor Pool building, constructed in 1929. By the time I was enjoying a continental breakfast and a swim in the Olympic sized outdoor pool, I was already experiencing the extraordinary feel of this place. Something about the meticulously restored ochre walls of the building, the iron railings, and the rows of marine blue changing cabins reflected in the soft ripples on the pool and piqued my imagination. I felt the energy of the people — a certain edgy and artistic elite — who had animated Molitor during the 30s, the heyday of this iconic pool and gathering place. It felt as if they were still here….
My treatment appointment was at 10:30, so following this pleasant interim, I entered the Molitor Spa by Clarins, showered and deposited my belongings, before spending a quiet moment in the ‘Wave Dream’ room in preparation for ‘Beyond the Water.’
As its name suggests, the ‘Beyond the Water’ treatment is all about water and its healing properties. Having already begun my aquatic immersion, first in the Molitor pool and then in the ‘Wave Dream’ room, I was well into the mood by the time the actual treatment began with a warm foot-bath immediately followed by a surprising and tonic cascade of blue crushed ice. As another aquatic touch, the treatment table was covered with warm aquatic cushions, which created a gentle rocking movement for the smallest motion of hand or arm. Once I closed my eyes and surrendered to this place of watery sounds and textures, aromatic fragrances, human touch, and rhythmic breathing, I was gone, gone….
Somewhere during that time, I was poolside again, and chatting with some singularly interesting people. There was a group of 30s style ‘pin-up’ looking girls, and a man someone told me was Louis Réard. Louis was regaling the crowd with stories about how he had launched the Bikini bathing suit at the Molitor pool in 1946. I noticed that Diana Vreeland was there as well, lounging by the pool like a siren, nodding vigorously at everything he was saying, and finally stating emphatically that ‘the bikini is the most important invention since the atom bomb!’ A furious scratching sound immediately followed, as a host of fashion journalists took note.
At about that time, I noticed Jacques Courtin-Clarins’s book, A Beautiful Success, on the table where my breakfast tray had been only moments earlier. A breeze rifled its pages, and a voice whispered of Mr. Courtin-Clarins’s remarkable ability to listen to women, and to understand their concern for their body image – including, of course, how they looked in a bikini. Eventually, the voice continued, this is what would lead to the creation of Clarins.
In the course of events, and very casually, really, a group of us wandered down the street to Roland Garros, where Susanne Lenglen, clad entirely in Jean Patou, was giving a special exhibition tennis match. Needless to say, Susanne was wearing Patou’s timeless and emblematic fragrance, ‘Joy’, which set the tone of the entire affair.
Towards the end of the match, some very nice person arrived in a sailboat and took us on a leisurely cruise around the South Seas and the Bikini Atoll, followed by a brief shopping excursion to nearby Auteuil, in Paris’ fashionable 16th arrondissement. I was just sailing back into the treatment room when I heard a pleasant voice saying that my treatment was over….
In a lounge adjacent to the dressing rooms, Abraham de Amezaga, European correspondent for Vogue Mexico and Vogue Latinoamerica was chatting with Cassandra Moonen-Ferrera, the Clarins International Public Relations Manager.
Like me, Abraham had just taken the ‘Beyond the Water’ treatment, and was similarly clad and dreamy eyed. Although neither Cassandra nor Abraham had been to the tennis match or on the yachting expedition, they smiled knowingly as I recounted my adventures, and, over lunch, told me some pretty wild adventures of their own.
I have to admit that in the intervening days since my ‘Beyond the Water’ treatment, besides a lingering feeling of heightened wellbeing, the details of the day’s adventures have become less clear, and somewhat interwoven.
Now, as I pen these words, the only thing I know for sure is this: There is a somewhere ‘Beyond the Water’ at the Molitor Spa by Clarins. And that somewhere is beautiful and memorable….
The molitor spa by clarins is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
8 avenue de la Porte Molitor
Tel : +33 (0)1 56 07 08 80
Treatments are available to external clients.
The sport and relaxation areas (pools, fitness centre, sauna, steam
room, relaxation rooms, etc.) are accessible only to members,
Molitor guests, and people enjoying a discovery day.