The most unexpected adventure I’ve taken so far this year was a trek into the gorgeous, glossy depths into Toronto’s Guerlain Boutique & Institute at 110 Bloor Street West.
I wandered in one fine Tuesday, expecting to just take a quick sniff of Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille–could it really be as gorgeous as I remembered? (Spoiler: it is, and then some.)–and walked out with some seriously sharp bronzer and a facial appointment for that Friday.
As a fragrance junkie, the only thing you need to know about Guerlain boutiques is this: there is only one in Canada, and it contains all of the brand’s current fragrances…
Les Exclusifs and all.
From bee bottles to tailor-made fragrances (you know, if you have a year, time for a trip to Paris, and a spare $75 000 lying around), this is the place to be. The staff here know everything there is to know about Guerlain’s recent launches as well as their classics, and can tell you about everything from Guerlinade to Theirry Wasser (Guerlain’s in-house perfumer).
Scents you must try while you’re there:
- Spiritueuse Double Vanille, a fizzy, spicy, boozy vanilla that’s so breathtaking that I have literally cried about it before,
- Mitsouko (extract) and Shalimar (perfume, not EdP), which are arguably the brand’s most iconic fragrances,
- Tonka Imperiale,
- Eau de Lingerie, and
- Le Parfum de 68.
Tucked discreetly in the back of the boutique is a small treatment room and all the necessarily amenities — a gorgeous glass shower, a mirrored change room, and the boutique’s secret weapon: a petite esthetician named Sakien Teymouri who, I swear, has magic hands.
I was lucky enough to experience a complimentary Complete Facial ($170 CAD), which is a 1h30 treatment that can be customized to match your skin’s needs.
As someone with extremely touchy skin, facials aren’t usually something I can indulge in, but the boutique’s manager took the time to double-check ingredients lists and customize a gentle, silicone-free regimen just for me. (Thank you so much, Jamielee — your kindness and attention to detail really made my day!)
For the facial, Sakien used the Guerlain Super Aqua-Mask as a mask and massage cream, the Secret de Pureté Cleansing Milk, Super Aqua-Lotion toner, and the Secret de Pureté Gentle Polishing Exfoliator (just as gentle as promised). Her technique was smooth and soothing, with even pressure, pinch-free extractions–because even beauty bloggers get blackheads–and a fantastic shoulder massage as the mask did its magic.
Finally, she rounded out the facial with a little bit of the Super Aqua-Mask left on my skin for extra hydration (the Guerlain Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil is another silicone-free option), and the line’s SOS Serum, which I seriously think I might need to invest in.
The SOS Serum ($104 USD) tingled worryingly at first, but Sakien told me to trust her, and five minutes later… magic. My face felt completely soothed. I’ve gotten used to a low level of tingling and discomfort over the years, but walking out of the Guerlain boutique, it felt like nothing at all.
And there’s a lot that can be said for sensitive skin feeling like nothing at all.
You guys are undoubtedly well-versed in the art of Guerlain cosmetics already, so I’ll leave you now with a couple snaps of the final section of Guerlain’s Yorkville boutique.
The boutique’s newest makeup artist is Boris Jander Seypen, who is one of those rare individuals that you meet once in a blue moon. He has that sparkling sort of quality that just draws you in, and his makeup skills come off as being as effortless and fine-tuned as his perfectly coiffed hair.
At 110 Bloor, I got to fall in love with the classic Météorites, Guerlain’s Terracotta Joli Teint bronzer, and their Rouge G lipsticks. But I got to fall for the team who works there, too: Boris’ magnetism and creativity, Sakien’s poise and expertise, and Jaimelee’s endless enthusiasm, dedication, and love for her team.
I can’t wait to go back.