Today is an enforced lazy day (as in; breakfast at 11, a refusal to leave the house all day, and lounging around in silk pyjamas with endless pots of tea), so I’m delighting in finally unpacking my souvenirs from Paris. After a trip, it always seems to take me a full week to unpack – partly out of busyness, but also because I want to delay the gratification of having brought home new treasures from my journey abroad.
Even though I was only in Paris for a long weekend, and I didn’t set aside any time specifically for shopping, I still managed to sneak plenty of wonderful souvenirs into my Lulu Guinness case. Here are a few of my favourite Parisian momentos:
Fleur d’Oranger candle (I will re-use the porcelain holder afterwards), Marie Antoinette tea and a jewel-like box of macarons from Laduree; vintage postcard and a menu from Cafe de Flore (which I may have snuck into my bag in exchange for a large tip)
French perfumes, beauty and gorgeous scented candles: I love the beauty hall at Le Bon Marche or the tiny perfumeries around Le Marais district (I always make a point to stop by Diptyque, Annick Goutal and L’Artisan Parfumeur when I’m here). Don’t forget to visit a French pharmacy for excellent beauty products that are mostly unavailable (or significantly more expensive) elsewhere.
Gourmand delights: A trip by Laduree (for a box of macarons, a coffret of tea and a scented candle), Pierre Herme (heavenly artisanal desserts, wonderfully adventurous macaron flavours, and gorgeous jams), and the department store food halls (I always stock up on chocolate and tins of orange blossom pastilles) is a must.
Vintage treasures: Rummage around the Parisian flea markets (Le Puces is the best) or the little stalls that line the Left Bank of the Seine. This time, I collected turn of the century hand-coloured postcards (I determinedly hunt these down in each of my favourite cities), old books at Shakespeare & Co, and a vintage Chanel military badge and early No. 5 bottle.
French fashions: Most of my favourite French brands (Carven, Sandro, Maje, Isabel Marant, Petite Bateau) are naturally much cheaper in Paris. But I also love discovering new (to me) French designers that are yet to arrive across the Channel. This time, I learned of Claudie Pierlot – an old French house that is now being led by the sisters who design for Sandro and Maje respectively. I love the French coquette -meets-each chic vibe, and picked up an adorable ivory silk peplum-waisted top which I can’t wait to wear. I also love to buy French silk lingerie (Chantal Thomass, Princesse Tam Tam and Mimi Holliday are fun), a tiny jewel (usually a brooch) from Chanel to add to my collection, and a copy of Vogue Paris at the Eurostar terminal (the funnest way to use up my Euros).
What do you love to souvenir when you travel? Do you have any favourite Parisian treats?
Love, Miss B xx