Why Have It To give your body-skin a boost.

When To Have It Late afternoon or after work. You'll be a smiling jelly - no fit state to make decisions

Once upon a time, massage was something performed by stern-faced Scandinavians with buttock-slapping hands. Glamour, quite simply, did not come into it; after all, il faut suffrir pour etre belle.

Clarins Paris Method Body Treatment has changed all that. Officially, it's a genuinely benefical technique developed to improve lympathic drainage. Unofficially, it's pampering paradise - a fatally delicious combination of Clarins products and more than

70 unbearably pleasurable massage movements.

Treatments in the white and red Clarins salon begins with a consultation during which the therapist assesses your skin-type and 'prescribes' the appropriate Clarins products (the idea being that in a delirious post-massage high, you'll buy the lot). Those who have a problem with nudity will be relieved to hear that this part of the therapy is performed fully clothed. Even when the time comes to peel off, Paris Method masseuses don't stand there gawping while you blush about the greyness of your bra - they'll leave the room until you've undressed and arranged yourself on thetable under piles of towels. The therapist mixes a goopy mayonnasise of Clarins oils and cream and begins work.

Paris Method massage treats both sides of the body, starting with the calves, then gently stroking, kneading and pinching upwards to the thighs, bottom, hips, waist, arms and back. The movements used vary according to the needs of the body part being massaged - some firm and tone, others reduce puffiness and sponginess (aka cellulite). All are relaxing. This has its downside: just as you're happily drifting off into unconsciousness, the therapist dons a mitt and gives you an invigorating rub down with cold Eau Dynamisante. This comes as something of a shock, particularly as it's a prelude to the part of the treatment where the therapist pin-points your wobbliest bit and starts slapping on the complicatedly-named Clarins Body Shaping Gel Concentrate Ultra Firming.

The therapist then leaves the room - a discreet way of telling you it's all over. You may not notice. By now you are nothing more but a quivering, silky lump of flesh.

Clarins Paris Method Body Treatment Place: Neville Daniel, 25a Basil St, SW3. (Photograph omitted)