Paris in August
Paris gets quiet in August, when, in a stroke of brilliance, France gives itself the month off. While many restaurants and boutiques shut down for vacances—some for the entire months, others for a week or so to give their staff a break—there’s something nice about visiting during this quiet spell. And best of all, some of our favorite places do stay open. Our Paris-in-August guide has become a goop tradition for this reason. Below, a roundup of our tried-and-true Paris spots, plus a bunch of new-to-us restaurants, bars, and shops whose doors will be open this August. (Of course, the department stores, big-name boutiques—Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc.—museums, and hotels, like the reopened Ritz, will be fully functional, too.) Rule of thumb: Bars and restaurants belonging to hotels are always a safe bet this time of year.
Nose20 Rue Bachaumont, 2nd | +184.108.40.206.46.03
If diagnostic tests are your bag, you'll love Nose's recommendation technology, which uses your perfume history to predict what fragrances and home scents you'll like best. While you can do the test online—and shop an encyclopedia of brands right there—an in-store consultation is inarguably more fun, as you can vet the recommendations in person. If nothing from Miller Harris, Acqua di Parma, Penhaligon's, et al. fits the bill, Nose will whip up a custom scent.
Comme des Garçons Parfum23 Place du Marche St-Honore, 2nd | +33.1.47.03.15.03
Undulating walls and soft pink lighting paint a perfectly futuristic scene for the forty or so Commes des Garçons perfumes on offer here. Everything the brand does pushes the needle just a little bit, from the fact that the fragrances are always unisex to the highly unusual notes in the perfumes: mineral carbon, sand dunes, nail polish, cellulose, aldehydes, saffron, and leather are all featured.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian5 Rue d'Alger, 1st | +220.127.116.11.07.07
Francis Kurkdjian's nose may be responsible for some big blockbuster scents (he created Jean Paul Gaultier's Le Male at the beginning of his career—and then went on to do dozens more scents for pretty much every big fashion house around), but it's his special projects that we love best. He helped artist Sophie Calle bottle the smell of money in 2003, and in 2006 he re-created the scent of Marie Antoinette for an installation at Versailles. It's no surprise that at his namesake gallery-like boutiques in the 1st and 4th arrondissements, things are done a little differently: Perfumes are set against a wall of light, and the offerings go well beyond the traditional. His signature scents infuse everything from incense paper to leather bracelets to home sprays, and his now-famous traveling perfume case is on hand should you require a custom fragrance.
Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th Arrondissement, Paris | +18.104.22.168.41.67
Surprisingly, Le Bristol is the only Parisian hotel allowed to perform facial treatments using La Prairie products. Much like the product line itself, the driving force behind the treatment menu is rejuvenation—as evidenced by treatments like the Caviar Lift Facial and the ultrasoothing Swiss Cellular Anti-Aging facial. The best part? You can drop off the littles at the Kids Club for the duration of your treatment.
Rasa Yoga21 Rue Saint Jacques, 5th | +22.214.171.124.54.14.59
Located in a quiet, sun-kissed courtyard, Rasa Yoga is wonderfully unintimidating—even if you don't speak a lick of French. It offers a comprehensive calendar of styles and levels (including yoga for kiddos), along with a deep roster of spa treatments from all around the world. Ayurvedic back rubs, Thai foot massage, and Shiatsu sessions are all on offer, along with basic pre- and postnatal treatments.
Kshanti Yoga13 Rue du Vieux Colombier, 7th | 126.96.36.199.89.95
It’s appropriate that this beautiful, cozy yoga studio that focuses on patience and benevolence is in an old church. The studio’s goal is to help you find the right practice for you, so the instructors teach many different styles of yoga, including Jivamukti, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Chromayoga; the studio also offers circus-inspired classes to get kids involved at a young age. Everyone is welcomed with a pair of slippers, and the vibe is so relaxed that it’s hard to resist hanging out for a post-class snack in the adjacent Maisie Cafe. For those visiting in August, classes resume on the 20th.
Le Tigre Yoga Club19 Rue de Chaillot, 8th | +188.8.131.52.17.34
Take your pick from yoga (Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa, as well as sessions for kids), Pilates, meditation, massage, and chiseling bar classes at this atmospheric studio in the Marais. Subdued lighting, gorgeous earth tones, and Asian sculptures set a soothing vibe. There’s a luxurious, rejuvenating hammam; a shop stocked with essential oils, candles, yoga mats, and beautifying potions; and a café that serves incredible organic lunches.
Mirz Yoga6 Rue Arthur Rozier, Place des Fêtes
Plagued by stomach pains, Marine “Mirz” Parmentier found relief in yoga and became obsessed, leaving her communications job to train in India. She founded Mirz Yoga, where you can take Vinyasa, Hatha, and Jivamukti classes designed for all levels, including prenatal and children, along with a signature, beyond-fun hip-hop Vinyasa flow. Mirz also has her own yoga line, handmade with ethically sourced fabrics in France, and there's an amazingly delicious vegetarian café (the falafel bowl is especially good).
L’Institut du Luxembourg19 Rue de Tournon, 6th | +184.108.40.206.63.77
American friends who flock to Paris in the summer months swear by this discreet Saint-Germain spa. A session in the Iyashi Dôme after a long-haul flight feels like a reset and somehow really helps with the jet lag. The long, tubelike structure is inspired by the Japanese purification ritual of burying oneself in the sands of hot springs and is said to stimulate the metabolism and accelerate the removal of toxins with infrared rays. The firming facials—using Carita products—help depuff dehydrated skin (so symptomatic of too much time up in the air).
Studio Rituel16 Rue de la Grande Chaumiere, 6th | +220.127.116.11.86.00
Yoga, Gyrotonic, spinning, Reformer Pilates, and Xtend Barre all under one roof make Studio Rituel a popular wellness destination. And the location, a stone’s throw from the Luxembourg Gardens, doesn’t hurt. The Gyrotonic classes, which involve fluid movement and targeted stretches utilizing the seven natural elements of spinal movement, are particularly helpful if you plan to do a lot of walking. As the class ramps up, these stretches are more like a dance, and over time they dramatically increase your flexibility. The studio also offers holistic treatments like massage, reflexology, and Qigong.