By Kasia Dietz
Welcome to my first column for Eluxe. I’m thrilled to be sharing all my greatest and greenest beauty and fashion experiences in fashion and beauty from where Eluxe was born and where I currently live, Paris. This week, I’d like to tell you about two totally different Paris spa experiences I had. But first, here’s a bit about me:
And now meet Olivier Lecocq, one of Paris’ leading massage therapists and favourite with many five-star hotels. Following a signature massage at his latest venue, hotel Le Saint (might I mention that it was one of the best I’ve ever had), I had the opportunity to ask this wellness expert how he achieved his stardom in the world of wellness.
With passion in his voice, Olivier told me his story, from studying architectural landscape design to serving on the police force, to his fascination with the world of wellness. Soon after beginning his career in 1997, this pioneer in his field developed new ultra-sensory relaxation techniques using touch.
In 2002 he founded Monmasseur Paris, luxurious home services that replicated the setting of a grand Parisian hotel. This led him to exclusive contracts with Le Meurice and the Ritz Health Club. After heading the After The Rain spa for the Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel, Olivier opened the Monmasseur Spa at the Lutetia Paris Rive Gauche Hotel in 2009.
It was there that he began to use his own line of treatment products: the Unique Elixir by OLIVIER LECOCQ. Made locally in Grasse, the brand is committed to sustainable development and is against all animal testing. Its products free from all parabens, artificial perfumes or colours. 100% natural essential oils and aromatic plant extracts are united to create divine serums, creams, masks and scrubs, all protecting the skin and soothing the soul.
During my massage, I was blissfully enveloped in these natural elixirs and felt complete relaxation under Olivier’s professional touch. Want to try his services yourself? Olivier offers exclusive treatments at Luxury Collection Le Prince de Galles hotel, using only his own natural products. His most recent collaboration is with newly opened five-star hotel Le Saint in Saint-Germain, where he offers 75-90 minute massages, a holistic wellness experience unlike any other.
Entitled Rituel Divin, his method is particularly recent as it was only developed in 2008, after spending over 10 years researching the perfect massage that would best suit most people’s needs and expectations. I just know I’ll be back for one of these perfect massages.
A Hint of Africa in Paris
Hidden behind a door and down a courtyard on bustling rue Montorgueil in Paris’s 2nd arrondissement, sits a portal into Morocco. There is no outward sign of its presence, and rightly so. For decades, Aux Bains Montorgueil was a hammam designed exclusively – and privately – for Moroccan royalty. It was not until 2004 that this clandestine hammam and spa opened to the public. It was discovered solely through word of mouth until their recent creation of a website.
Entering Aux Bains Montorgueil, you have the sensation of arriving to a hammam in the heart of old Marrakesh: there are colourful Islamic tiles, intricately woven rugs and gold accents, lending the place a royal vibe. After being warmly welcomed by Moroccan therapists Souad and Wafa with traditional music playing in the background, I was led downstairs to begin this centuries old cleansing ritual. The actual hammam is filled with the heavenly scents of eucalyptus and orange blossom.
After detoxing in the luxurious heat, Souad lathered me with homemade green clay in preparation for the full body scrubbing, or gommage. After a thorough and rather rough cleansing that left my skin soft and aglow, I returned to the hammam for my facial.
It started with an exfoliation based on a concoction of cinnamon, honey and sugar, followed by a sesame and honey mask, both all natural and made by Souad and Wafa themselves. Curious if these sweet mixtures were edible, I was told that often in Morocco only natural foods are used to cleanse the skin.
Feeling completely relaxed, I was led upstairs to the massage room where fleur d’oranger, or orange blossom water, was gently rubbed into my rejuvenated skin. I ended my lavish Moroccan experience in the relaxation room with a glass of mint tea.
Now I understood this was such a well kept secret for so long.
Looking forward to writing to you again from the City of Lights! Until then, a bientot.
Main image: Kasia Dietz by Photographer Chloe Lodge. Follow Kasia on Instagram at @kasiadietz