The other day I stumbled upon an old issue of French Elle from 1964, which I had bought on a whim from a Parisian bouquiniste after spotting a young Sophia Loren on its cover.
In the magazine I found this gem of an ad: “Portable Sauna”
The ad extols the virtues of enjoying a sauna in the comfort of one’s home, explaining how Scandinavian women take saunas regularly in order to maintain their “svelte silhouettes, vitality, and beauty.”
The ad goes on to explain that “in France women can only do saunas in very few establishments, at steep prices. Something that only a small number of privileged clients could enjoy… Until now!”
The illustration shows a woman sitting on a folding chair, housed inside a tent-like structure that closes with a zipper. The woman’s hands are sticking out, so that she can hold a book.
The ad promises astonishing results: with “Saunarelax” women can shed extra pounds “quickly, pleasantly, and without any effort.” The sauna miraculously also “regenerates tissue, erases wrinkles, and rejuvenates.”
If you have any other examples of vintage beauty ads, please send us photos at illusionists.film [at] gmail [dot] com