Hammam delights

© O-Kari
In the heart of Paris, O-Kari introduces you to the delights and beneficial effects of the hammam. This peaceful place with an intimate atmosphere is perfect for recharging one’s batteries and forgetting the stresses of work and the city’s noise and bustle.

[ Practical ]

O-Kari Hammam
22 rue Dussoubs
75002 Paris
Opening hours
Every day from 10 am to 8 pm. By appointment only.
1 hour 30 mn Découverte package : €90
2 hours Basic package : €150
3 hours Classic package : €190
4 hours 30 mn Orient package : €240
4 hours Prestige package : €330
1 hour massage : €130
Masks : €50
Discounts for purchases over 10 packages
Buy 5 packages get one for free.
Tel : 0142369466
At first glance, it is hard to see how there could be a tranquil escape from the stresses of the city on the rue Montorgueil. Situated near the Forum des Halles, this shopping neighbourhood is one of the busiest in the capital. However, at 22 rue Dussoubs, in the pleasant courtyard of an 18th century private mansion, a hammam transports you to a quiet, sheltered world reminiscent of the tales from One Thousand and One Nights.

© O-Kari
 Mediterranean hospitality
Named O-Kari and exclusively reserved for women, this spa was opened at the end of 2008 by Karima Lasfar, originally from Ghardaia, a holy city located in the northern Algerian Sahara.
Once inside, soft Middle Eastern music, a décor of ochre, blue and white colours mix with honey, almond and eucalyptus fragrances. You are transported to a desert retreat where feelings of well-being, relaxation and pleasure are the perfect antidote to the city’s hustle and bustle. On top of this sensual setting, Karuma Lasfar and her team welcome customers with warmth, kindness and a typically Mediterranean sense of hospitality. But even more than that, the O-Kari hammam is not meant to be an instant beauty treatment. “It’s a way of life, a ritual devoted to beauty and harmony that needs to be given time”. For Karima Lasfar, you should spend at least two and half hours there and more if possible.

© O-Kari
 Warm and intimate place
Set in vaulted rooms bathed in soft light, the hammam is adorned with tiled floors, mosaics, statuettes, vases and amphoras that drew its inspiration from Roman and Middle Eastern baths. The resulting décor is zen and refined but not at all ostentatious. “I wanted to recreate the atmosphere of the hammams of my childhood that I hadn’t found anywhere in Paris”, Karuma Lasfar explains. A goal she has achieved with some aplomb. But the best it yet to come. O-Kari only covers 200m² and never accommodates more than 12 customers at the same time as sessions are arranged by appointment only. All these elements combine to create a warm, intimate and friendly place where you are completely pampered. It is also the perfect spot for an outing between friends or between mother and daughter. The hammam can also be booked for private groups from ten people upwards.
Several packages ranging from 1h 30mins to 4 hours are on offer. The shortest one consists of seven treatments.

© O-Kari
 Wide choices of cares
A eucalyptus-perfumed steam bath that opens pores eliminating toxins and relaxing the muscles. Exfoliation with black soap. A body scrub that removes dead skin cells. Cleansing with Aleppo-type soap made from the best Algerian olive oil. Shampoo with head massage. Whirlpool bath. Hair drying. Other packages also include relaxing, toning and lymphatic drainage massages with essential oils, double body scrub, hair treatment (mask and rinsing) for each hair type, nourishing ghassoul or ghassoul and henna body wrap as well as aesthetic massages with essentials oils from the famous Mitidja distillery in Algiers.
Once the treatments are over, you can then extend your stay by heading to the steam bath or the relaxation room equipped with comfortable armchairs where mint tea, coffee and lemonade are served for free. For those feeling a little peckish, you can order homemade soups, salads, fresh fruit cocktails and North African pastries.

© O-Kari
 100% natural products
Lastly, aesthetic treatments are also available such as slimming, toning and relaxing massages, face and hair masks, pink, green, grey or white clay wraps depending on the type of skin. This is a hallmark of O-Kari: the customised nature of each treatment. Another house speciality is the use of 100% natural flower-, plant-, honey- and fruit-based products without colouring agents or preservatives. Many of these are on sale to the public. Having learnt so much from her herbalist grandfather, Karima Lasfar decided to launch her own product line. Also named O-Kari, it includes clays designed to purify and soften the body, face and hair, honey- and black cumin-based masks, exfoliating and hydrating eucalyptus-based black soap, massage oils and many more - all to help bring the feelings experienced during your stay at the hammam into your home.

February 15, 2010
Hélène Tilliette