Visiting France, especially Paris, will forever be a reliable place to spend all your money shopping. Look out for items that are truly special — made locally and thoughtfully, and with France on the mind.
Here are some inspired choices
French Pharmacy Finds
What: The mystique of French pharmacies is well-documented across the internet. The drugstore offerings in Paris are just so much better than anything you will find in the U.S.; they are also significantly cheaper. Beyond the mango-scented shampoo, fancy cream, face wash, and skin oil, I like to stock up on Caudalie’s Lip Conditioner.
Available at: amazon.com
Astier de Villatte Pottery
What: On my way to Jardin du Luxembourg, I came across the new Astier de Villatte store in Saint Germain. Their white-glazed earthenware pottery is entirely handmade in a Parisian workshop. It is there that I picked up a notebook silk-screened by the last existing master printer in Paris, and a small bowl for my growing pottery collection.
Price: From $65
Available at: abchome.com
Textiles from Jamini
What: I came across the Parisian-designed, Indian-made textile brand a few years ago on Instagram and was so in love with the beautiful pieces. On this trip, I finally had the opportunity to check out her shop in the 10th and picked up a set of navy blue hand-blocked cotton napkins.
Available at: jaminidesign.com
What: Culty French brand Sézane has a beautiful shop in the 2nd stocked with “French girl” dresses, shoes, bags, and an assortment of goods from local designers. Parisian-based Mapoésie is designed by Elsa Poux, a graduate from the National School of Decorative Arts who creates patterned beach towels, scarves, and paper goods.
Price: From €9
Available at: mapoesie.fr
See Concept Sunglasses
What: I have mixed feelings about Collette, the world’s original concept shop (the crowds make it unenjoyable). But I faced the throngs and was able to muscle my way to a pair of green shades from a French brand called See Concept. Founded by three childhood friends from Lyon, the glasses are well made and surprisingly affordable.
Available at: plasticastore.com
Season Paper Collection Stationery
What: A total sucker for stationery, I can never resist buying a few cards to keep on hand for birthdays and holidays. The French-made stationery line is sold at Artazart, an independent bookstore and gallery with a stellar indie travel guide and art book selection.
Price: From €3.50
Available at: seasonpapercollection.com
Caramel Choco Noir
What: Fou de Pâtisserie boutique is another favorite stop. The pastry concept shop gathers the best pastries from the best local chefs and sells them under one roof in the 2nd. In addition to sampling a few of their treats, I picked up a squeeze tube of dark chocolate caramel to gift a friend with a major sweet tooth.
Available at: leclairdegenie.com