Although La Prairie is a Swiss brand, Europe is not its main market. Products launch in France six months after they have been test-marketed in the US, and the company’s makeup line is limited to foundation here. Still, it’s cause for celebration when La Prairie comes out with a new formula in its famously expensive skin-care line. Dozens of journalists showed up this week for a presentation of Cellular Power Infusion, which sprang this spring in the US and hots France this fall. The event took place in an elegant apartment with views of the Arch de Triomphe. The setting held a special significance; the Arch sits in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, and de Gaulle himself—a former French president—was a client of the La Prairie clinic in Switzerland. “Cellular Power Infusion is not a gel, it’s not a serum, it’s not a cream,” a La Prairie rep announced to the crowd, which sipped champagne and noshed on crustless sandwiches. What is it, then? Swiss snow algae, red grape stems, and peptides, among other ingredients that La Prairie patented, and says recharges the batteries of the cells in the skin. The product comes in a tube-shaped bottle. When you turn the bottom part, a blue liquid is injected into the clear liquid. Once mixed, the product has a shelf life of 10 days only. The liquid is quickly absorbed and is meant to be applied mornings and night on clean skin (a woman can otherwise follow her normal regimen; there are no ancillary products required). How well does it work? Well, being here in Paris, I have only tested it for 24 hours; so far, so good. It’s got less of the perfume in it that has kept La Prairie in the old-lady category of skin care potions. And at $575 for a case of four bottles, it is, believe it or not, a bit of a bargain for this brand. Anyone remember the company’s Cellular Cream Platinum Rare, which retailed for $1,000 a pop when it launched in fall 2008, at the onset of the economic crisis? That product is now a mere $650 today. Vive la difference!