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PARIS — Between the interpretive dancers, kung fu demonstrations and otherworldly painted people — not to mention zillions of beauty products as far as the eye could see — it was sensory overload last week here when Printemps feted what it bills as the “biggest perfumery in the world.”

This story first appeared in the November 21, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Boulevard Haussmann flagship, throbbing with pink light outside, was a beauty beacon welcoming more than 2,000 revelers. They roamed the 43,055-square-foot, two-story space, stopping only for a quick makeover, hand and back massages — or a whiff of fresh air at the oxygen bar.

Laurence Danon, president of the Printemps board of directors and a member of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute’s executive committee, cut the ribbon on two new escalators and escorted her big boss, French billionaire François Pinault, upstairs for the first look.

Other PPR brass were out in force, including chief executive Serge Weinberg and Pinault’s son, François-Henri, who is now chairman of the family holding company, Artemis. Also among bold-faced attendees was Chantal Roos, chairman and chief executive officer of YSL Beauté — the beauty arm of PPR-owned Gucci Group.

L’Occitane president Reinold Geiger and Giorgio Armani Parfums international general manager Fabio Mancone were also among the many executives in attendance, while the French celebrity quotient included actors Lambert Wilson and Judith Godreche.

Cosmetic and fragrance brands pulled out all the stops to help celebrate the event. MAC, for instance, showed off its body-painting savoir faire with performers wearing next to nothing but color cosmetics. Even gentlemen were invited to get into the action, thanks to Jean Paul Gaultier Parfums, which just launched color cosmetics for men. Eyeliner, anyone?

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