An Exceptional Trip to Paris with Sisley

My avid reader know how much I love Sisley products. Without my beloved Black Rose Cream Mask and  or the So Intense Mascara my life would definitely not be the same. Therefore, I was all over the moon to be invited to Paris to visit their newest spa and boutique which marks the first in Paris for the upscale French beauty brand and to finally meet Sisley co-founder Mrs Isabelle d’Ornano in person.

Having beautiful skin is a state of mind, it helps lift the spirits and improves the deep sense of self.” – Isabelle d’Ornano

The 360 m2 space is situated on 5, Avenue de Friedland, in the centre of Paris’s 8th district off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Divided into four areas, it is the perfect place to unwind after a busy week.

The beauty salon houses five treatment rooms - including one double treatment room and offers a menu of facials as well as body treatments for every age and skin type. I had a facial that was truly special as Sisley has developed exclusive “rituals” designed to combat the effects of urban life.

It is one of the most tasteful places I have seen, a haven of good taste inspired by Isabelle and Christine d’Ornano’s love for a quirky mix of interesting furniture and designer pieces, sourced from both flea markets and luxury brands.

There’s for example a «Jetlag» sofa by India Mahdavi and framed sketches by Marc Chagall in the lounge area where pre-treatment consultations take place.

The bathrooms have wallpapers that are made from magazine articles featuring Sisley.

The «secret» café is exclusively reserved for clients and invites them with tribal elements to relax and have a drink. This house is also home to the first Sisley Boutique in Paris where you can buy all the products the brand has to offer.

Traditional and modern touches mingle in this space where painted woodwork and mouldings exist alongside an animated, luminous wall display. Isabelle d’Ornano’s niece Elzbieta Radziwill painted the central lampshade, and the walls are covered with hand-painted wallpaper from 1874 called “the Cells” by Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, which was remodelled, reproportioned, and recoloured specifically for the space. I especially adore the handpainted sofas.

Sisley, 5, avenue de Friedland, 8th arrondissement. Phone: +33 1 86 21 11 11.

From left to right: Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream, Black Rose Cream Mask and Black Rose Precious Face Oil.icon

On display of course the newest addition to the Sisley Black Rose family: The Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream iconfor plumbing and radiance (Baume-En-Eau à la Rose Noire). Infused with soothing rose and magnolia essential oils, this nourishing cream absorbs deep into the skin for a plumper, fresher complexion. Black rose combats free radicals, while red vine extract evens tone, leaving a glowing more radiant finish. Its texture is absolutely different from what you might have ever experienced due to an exceptionally sensorial application as it transforms into micro-droplets of water and permeates into the heart of the epidermis. Hydrated, the skin is infused with moisture, as if rejuvenated.

After this beautiful experience in the spa, I was fully of energy the next day and so much looking forward to finally meet Mrs Isabelle d’Ornano which is not only a style icon for me but whom I also admire for her way of combining work, motherhood and success.

In 1976 she launched Sisley with her husband Hubert d’Ornano who headed the company for over thirty years as a visionary creator and daring entrepreneur until his death at the age of 89 in 2015. He believed in aromatherapy and phytotherapy as one of the first ones in the cosmetic industry. Until today, the brand is family owned, distributed in over 90 countries with 4000 employees worldwide. Mrs d’Ornano, President of the Supervisory Board, is chiefly in charge of creation and advertising, while her son Philippe d’Ornano is President and directs the company’s International development. Her daughter, Christine d’Ornano is Global Vice President, also heading one of the group’s subsidiaries in Britain.

Mrs d’Ornano is truly amazing. I learnt from her employees that until this day she reads all the sales reports personally to understand how her customer tick. Sisley is a brand that launches a product when it is ready and not when a line has to be completed.

Above the new Maison Sisley, on the top floor, Mrs d’Ornano has furnished a private apartment overlooking the rooftops of Paris that is quite stunning. Here we chatted about the brand she built up, life and faith.

Mrs d’Ornano, I read once that your key to a strong marriage, family, work, and a happy life in general is your faith. Can you explain this a little further please?

I believe in God. The world has been created by God. We all have a special mission. I pray. The more comfort you need, the more you pray. I was born in Poland that had a difficult history in the 19th century. Therefore Christianity played an important role. Personally speaking, I don’t understand people who don’t believe in anything.

Together with your husband you have built up this beauty empire. Your whole family is involved in the business. How can we imagine your daily life? Were you able to leave the business behind to a certain point when being on vacation for example?

For years, we never left the business behind. One of our daughters who was not involved in the company would point it out when it was too much. On the other side, we always had something to speak about. When we had ideas, we could express them immediately. Sisley became my 6th child.

What do you think about this century?

I am happy. It is not on me to judge. We are experiencing an acceleration in daily life, so much more is possible. On the other side, I am sometimes worried that humanity will be lost in this digitalized world. I think for the younger generations it is not always so easy. Of course, there are more possibilities, but on the other hand, they are asked so much more. Men seem to have less work as women are capable of doing the same things.

Your own beauty regime?

I try to walk every day and do gymnastics. In general, I have a healthy taste in terms of eating. But most importantly, I like people, I am always curious and enjoy meeting new people. In my age, that changes a lot.

You in three words.

Loyal, efficient and fun!

Thank you Mrs d’Ornano for this interview and to the whole Sisley team for this beautiful experience in Paris!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Be at Ease

Ease Spa Zurich

Switzerland has a new beauty oasis, a very urban one: ease DESIGN SPA. A paradise in the city with a vibrant vibe, located in Zurich-West on the first floor of Puls 5. Of course, it doesn’t have this typical zen ambiance but that is on purpose. I enjoyed the facial treatment to funky music in a relaxing ambiance created by award-winning interior designers Dyer-Smith Frey very much.

The highly qualified team offers top quality service and a bundle of experience along with the comfort of a spa in the city.



ease Spa 10

Ease DESIGN SPA works with SALIN de BIOSEL from Italy. All products and treatments have been designed to be personalised “à la carte”. How does this work? By adding precious components aimed to solve your specific beauty problem, like a unique cosmetic recipe, you enjoy a treatment made exclusively to suit your skin needs.


Ease Spa 2


Ease Spa 3


Ease Spa 100

Everything at ease DESIGN SPA is easy, even the online booking service. I hope that you will feel as much at ease as I did.

LoL, Sandra

Ease Spa 6

Photos: Courtesy of Ease Spa and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Bvlgari Hotel Milano


This week, when I went to Italy, I stayed at the amazing Bvlgari Hotel Milano. Located on a private street, just a few minutes away by feet from the famous shopping streets, Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, it is the perfect accomodation for the most refined and cosmopolitan clientele. The tastefully renovated 18th-century Milanese palazzo is also home to a 4,000-square-meter private garden, a natural extension of the nearby Botanical Garden, and a wonderful spa with an indoor swimming pool, which are both ideal for unwinding after a busy day in the Italian fashion capital.


My comfortable room offered a wonderful blend of modern designs with high technology features. The service was outstanding, nice touches as my very own business cards were waiting for me upon my arrival.


The room was beautifully scented with Bvlgari’s famous Eau Parfumée au thé vert (green tea), even the bed linens smelled lovely.






In a nice little box on the desk were office supplies, such as a tiny highlighter, paper clips, a rubber and a sharpener.



Room service was fabulous, the food, being Italian of course it is divine. And I always adore having a coffee maker in my room. The Bvlgari Milan has become quickly my favourite place to stay at in the city!

LoL, Sandra


Bulgari_milano_7Photos: Courtesy of Bvlgari Hotel & Resorts and © Sandra Bauknecht

Spa and the City


Ladies, are you looking for the perfect location to celebrate a fabulous hen party or for an extraordinarily entertaining evening with girlfriends?
Your search is over! “Spa and the City” makes women’s hearts beat faster.


The “Spa and the City” lifestyle-offer at Lucerne‘s ART DECO HOTEL MONTANA in the Penthouse Spa Suite addresses today’s young and frivolous female. And MONTANA spoils you with welcome drinks, cult films, sexy private butler who goes by the name of Mr Spax, mouth-watering food and “hot” surprises for you ladies!


Cosmetic treatments boost feeling good about yourself, handsome private butler Mr Spax eagerly awaits mixing you a drink at the Suite Bar – and in the whirlpool on the balcony you can soak up the sights of the city as you sip champagne.
A colourful, sexy and cheeky offer that can be complemented with additional services such as limousine-shuttle, massages, beauty and Botox treatments, as well as jewellery, slinky lingerie and erotic toy presentations – not forgetting free-flow champagne, chocolate fountains and any other personal wish we’re able to fulfill!


The new and extravagant package is sure to leave lasting memories, with loads of highlights and laughs. And here comes the good news: YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO WIN THE SPA AND THE CITY PACKAGE FOR YOU AND FOUR OF YOUR GIRLFRIENDS. This original package (see Spa and the City Package below), which bears the artistic signature of no lesser than the master of graphic arts himself –namely British-born star illustrator Jason Brooks – is yours to enjoy.

All you have to do is to send me an e-mail with the header “Spa and the City” to with your address and why you would love to win.
Probably you are having a special occasion to celebrate, just tell me.
Travel costs are not included. All entries must be received until November 30, 2012. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this contest. By entering this contest, entrants accept and agree to be bound by these official rules.

Spa and the City Package (Your chance to win this package)
• Welcome drink
• Use of and overnight stay in the Penthouse Suite 606 with own spa area
(Including buffet breakfast)
• Private Butler Mr Spax from 17.00 until 24.00
• 3-course finger food dinner
• Large film selection
• Beauty Bag with exclusive choice of products

From CHF 248 per person, bookable for 3 to 8 people.

Additional services, with surcharge:
• Cosmetic Treatments (Massages, Beauty-Treatments, Botox)
• Product Presentations such as Jewellery, Erotic Toys or Lingerie
• Free-flow Champagne / Prosecco
• Chocolate-Fountain with Fruit-Sticks
• Hairstyling, Personal Fashion Advice
• Photography
• Limousine Service to the Personal Party!

Further details and info concerning additional services or to book, please click here.
Good luck!

LoL, Sandra

Spa-and-the-City_2Photos: Courtesy of Art Deco Hotel Montana, Jason Brooks

La Mer for President

Président Wilson

This week, I was invited to spend a night at the hotel Président Wilson in Geneva and to explore the first La Mer spa ever opened in Switzerland.

1st page of DP

If you are not familiar with the La Mer brand, let me give you some facts about the cream that is much sought-after by celebrities all around the globe. It was invented by aerospace physicist Dr. Max Huber after he suffered an accident that severly burned his face. When medicine and other traditional means failed to heal his scarred appearance, he looked for the curative powers of the sea and natural regenerating properties of plants. The result was a precious elixir, with The Miracle Broth™ at its heart. Dr. Huber formulated Crème de la Mer (which works by the way truly fantastic if you got a sunburn).

2. Pool viewView of the pool

IMG_8679My room

The hotel Président Wilson was a wonderful experience with great service. The spa, which is located on the first floor, also offers relaxing sessions in the hammam, the sauna, the jacuzzi and the outdoor sea-water pool.

Hôtel Président WilsonIMG_8686Me relaxing in the spa

The spa has 5 rooms, one of which is reserved for massages for two. This was where I had my wonderful body treatment. My skin got exfoliated with The Body Refiner by La Mer that is infused with two carats of pure diamond powder leaving your skin smooth and glowing. After that treatment, I received a relaxing massage with The Body Crème by La Mer that could be described best as a seaweed wrap in a jar.

You can choose from many different treatments, for further information, click here.

IMG_8693A spa treat: Macarons in the La Mer colours

Below you can find some photos of the hotel’s amazing flower decorations:

32. Flowers



13. Crown Suite

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Président Wilson; © Sandra Bauknecht

Paris Opening: Mandarin Oriental

MOPAR 706 TERRACE ONLY FINAL 01View from the top

The Mandarin Oriental, Paris has officially opened its doors yesterday. The new prestigious hotel is situated in a 30s art déco building on one of the most fashionable streets in the world, Rue Saint-Honoré, surrounded by high end fashion, haute couture and steps from the Louvre.

MOPAR RM 406 01Rooms

The 99 rooms and 39 suites were conceived by distinguished architect Sybille de Margerie, designer of LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc. Patrick Jouin, who designed Jules Verne and Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée, designed the restaurant and bar spaces. 2-star Michelin chef Thierry Marx is in charge for your dining experiences.

MOPAR 8 BAR FINAL 02A (Email)The bar

The in-house spa works with Guerlain products and offers an indoor pool and a well-equipped fitness center.



I’ve just received notice about an exclusive grand opening offer. When booking („J’aime Paris“ rate starting at  €765) between July 17 and August 28, 2011, you will be treated to a €300 voucher per room, per stay or a €500 per stay per suite to be used in the restaurant or the spa.

Jaime Paris

I love brand-new hotels especially when you are one of the first guests in a room!
And isn’t Paris always worth a visit?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental