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Why Does This Face Cream Cost $1,500?

A pricey beauty product that promises to make you look 10 years younger

Guerlain is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its famed Orchidée Impériale skincare line in a big way: by unveiling a $1,500 limited edition jar of anti-aging face cream. In order to develop the product, researchers spent more than a decade studying rare orchids at Guerlain “Orchidarium” facilities around the globe (there’s a Guerlain greenhouse in Switzerland, a research laboratory in France and a Nature Reserve in China—who knew?)

Guerlain's Orchidée Impériale, The Cream

Guerlain’s Orchidée Impériale, The Cream

Out of more than 30,000 different species of orchids, researchers zeroed in on one in particular—Dendrobium chrysotoxum, better known as the “gold orchid”—which have an impressive lifespan and a remarkable ability to regenerate in harsh conditions. The process that follows is rather complicated, but here’s the simplified version: The flowers spend seven years maturing, before they are harvested and left to dry out. The final step is extraction, where active ingredients from the orchids are removed and incorporated into the facecream.

It promises benefits like increased firmness and elasticity, and claims to make skin appear ten years younger. Even if you’re a non-believer, you might still consider buying the cream to display on your vanity—the packaging is pretty incredible.

Orchidée Impériale, The Cream is now available at Guerlain boutiques, Saks, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.