Updated: Dec 26, 2022
As temperatures drop and holiday lights twinkle on the street, we invariably turn our kindness to the classic Christmas tradition: Gift-giving. But finding that special someone something they actually love does not need to be reserved only for Christmas. gift giving can be a pleasure all by itself.
If you happen to be in Paris or wish to make a Paris related gift, we offer you
8 great gift ideas to please even the pickiest Francophile.
1- Officine Universalle Buly
For the beauty connoisseur and home spa lover
This store was founded in 1803 as a beauty apothecary for Paris' elite. Over 200 years later, it is still one of the most elegant places to pick up anything from luxurious body oil to a shaving kit fit for the finest of gentlemen. It has kept its old-world charm with the top quality products for personal hygiene and relaxation. The bottles, bars of soap, combs, and really all the products (even their toothpaste!) are so beautiful, it gives a normal bathroom at home the air of a chic French powder room from the 1800s. Oh, and don't forget that anything can be personalised with calligraphy or engraving for your loved one.
There are 3 different individual shops where you can purchase this in Paris and one counter at the Bon Marché. Our recommendation is to check out the one in the Marais (19 rue Vieille du Temple 75004) and ask for Caroline, the friendly shop manager!
For the chocolate lover
Angelina is a Paris institution. Created in 1903 by Anton Rumpelmayer and his son René, it became the essential meeting place for the Parisian aristocracy. In its salons, Proust, Coco Chanel and the greatest French couturiers met. Today it still serves high quality hot chocolate and other tasty treats.
For an easy and delicious present, we recommend the "Coffret Les Emblématiques" which holds a sampling of the hot chocolate, a spreadable chocolate paste (basically fancy Nutella 😉), and thin wafer cookies coated in chocolate.
For the younger crowd, get the hot chocolate mix so they can taste the magic of Paris in their home year round. Truly a sweet tooth's dream!
3- A Portrait from Montmartre
For the art lover
Tucked away in the hills above Paris, on a winding road behind Sacré Coeur, you will find a small square called Place du Terte. Here you can choose from a number of willing artists who await outside even on the coldest days to paint or draw your portrait. But you can also bring a picture of your loved one and these talented artists will be happy to draw it too!
These portraits are beautiful and one of a kind, allowing the city of Paris and its spirit of the arts to travel home with you.
4- Custom Fragrance at Fragonard
For those that love to hear 'wow you smell so good!'
Looking to smell even better than the royals did? Head to none other than the infamous Fragonard Workshop to create your very own Eau de Cologne. Perfect as a truly timeless souvenir from Paris. And you can tell your admirers that you did it yourself! So much better!
The 1.5h session is led by a perfumery expert and takes place in the Musée du Parfum's workshop. After this activity, you will head home with your creation presented in an elegant, personalized 100 ml bottle and pouch, a diploma signed by the teacher and your perfumer’s apprentice apron.
The expert perfumers can help you devise the perfect fragrant notes that do all the talking, with a French accent, of course.
5- A StrollsParis Experience
For the adventurous, the traveler, the explorer at heart
The best gift are those that leave unforgettable memories. Having a local expert and private guide can really make a difference when exploring such an interesting city as Paris.
Now you can gift this experience to your loved ones with just a couple of clicks: Just go to our site www.strollsparis.com. In our "Custom Services" section select our "Hire a guide" offer and click on the "buy as a gift option", choose between our three options:
Full day (8 hours)
Half Day (4 hours)
Essential (2 hours)
Then select the size of group before proceeding to the payment, and that's it! You will receive a gift certificate that your loved one(s) can redeem next time they visit the city of light!
For the (aspiring) ballerina 🩰
If you are a dancer, there is nothing better than the Repetto store. It was in 1947 when Rose Repetto created her first ballet shoes, in a workshop located just steps away from the elegant National Opera de Paris, at 22 rue de la Paix 75002. It didn't take long until the brand became a famous among the Parisian and international dancers!
With 4 boutiques in Paris each offering a different window display centred on an iconic ballet, there is a selection of leotards, ballet flats, pointe shoes and tutus that could satisfy any prima ballerina. You can even match mother and daughter by getting items like the ballet flats in both their sizes. They even have baby shoes which can match the chicer adult styles!
7- French Football/Soccer t-shirt
For the sports fan
France is famous for their great football players and team that gave the second place in the recent World Cup 2022 and the first place in 2018 and 1998. You can easily please a football fan with the official t-shirt of the FFF (French Football Federation) that you can get in the official site or directly in Paris at 87, boulevard de Grenelle, 75015. France's most famous player is currently Kilian Mbappé who wears n°10.
If you wish to gift a Parisian football t-shirt you can get a Paris St. German's team t-shirt N°30 representing Lionel Messi, considered one of the best players of all times, but also Mbappé and Neymar Jr. Multiple styles and colors are available to choose the best option for that special person.
8- Shakespeare & Co.
For the the bookworms
This English-language bookshop was founded by American George Whitman at 37 rue de la Bûcherie 75005, near Paris' Kilometer Zero: the point at which all French roads begin, steps away from Notre Dame Cathedral and the Seine river. It is located in a 17th century building, which was originally a monastery. Since opening in 1951, it’s been a meeting place for anglophone writers and readers, becoming a Left Bank literary institution.
While there occasionally is a line to get into the main store, the storefront directly next to the line, confidently between the original store and their cafe, holds first-editions and other such treasures sure to make for a memorable present. Who doesn't want a signed copy of their favourite novel? But if you cannot come to Paris you can still get their books stamped. Click here to find their best sellers and get them shipped home.
We hope no matter how you celebrate the holidays, the spirit of giving and showing love for the people we care about surrounds you. From the whole StrollsParis team to all our readers around the world: we wish you a very merry holiday season and a happy new year!
Written and edited by Julia Orr and Pamela Breit F.