With worldwide shipping and Internet access, it’s pretty easy to get anything, anytime, anywhere. While this may make day to day life easier, it definitely takes some fun out of souvenir shopping.
That “I heart Paris” t-shirt you just took home? Likely made in China. That fancy French foodstuff you gifted your grandma? She’s already found it at her fancy local food market. But you still want that perfect present or personal memento, right? Don’t despair! Ditch the tired tourist clap-trap and go for one of these goodies!
For wearable art: Kasia Dietz Bags
Kasia Dietz has made a name with her hand-printed reversible canvas totes. Particularly popular is the “Paris” series with a selection of bags celebrating favorite arrondissements, rives gauche and droit or Paris itself. Kasia’s bags are available through her online shop and in select boutiques. But to really make this gift unique: sign up for one of her workshops and create your own one-of-a-kind Paris-inspired bag under her guidance. Not only will you have an original souvenir (or gift if you’re feeling generous) but you’ll make some memories and meet other interesting locals and visitors.
That fancy French foodstuff you gifted your grandma? She’s already found it at her fancy local food market. But you still want that perfect present or personal memento, right?
For edgy elegance: Iseline Jewellery Paris
For something made exclusively in France that’s feminine with a rock n’ roll touch, check out Iseline. These sexy pieces are intricately crafted from hypoallergenic materials and coated with solid gold, rose gold, sterling silver and other precious metals and stones, meaning they’re fun and fashionable while remaining affordable. The gold-plated tiger ring or the handcuff bracelet brings something both elegant and edgy to the game. They’re launching the online shop soon, but those in the know can sign up to take part in their pre-launch parties and shopping experience, so you can be the very first to bring something back from this jeweler!
For drinkable delights: La Maison du Whisky Barrel-Aged Cocktails
It’s not unusual to take home a bottle of wine to prolong your Parisian experience. But if you want to try something a little different in liquid form (and impress your cocktail-minded friends), head to La Maison du Whisky Fine Spirits to shop their collection of barrel aged cocktails. At the Fine Spirits shop of La Maison du Whisky, Stanislas Jouenne oversees barrels of various recipes that are aged according to techniques developed with the help of Alexandre Gabriel of Pierre Ferrand Cognac and inspired by those used in aging spirits. In addition to the barrel aged options, this boutique has one of the city’s larger collections of fine spirits and whiskies. Stop in to tour, taste, and take something special home.
For hidden treasures: La Cygne Rose Antiques
Savvy locals skip the overpriced antiques houses and head for something a little more special. For nearly three decades, La Cygne Rose has been selling original finds from all over the globe. Stop in and browse this tiny shop of treasures with plenty of surprisingly affordable options to take back, or to treat yourself. Owner, Clare, a friendly English woman, helps customers find just the right item of French origin among curiosities like dessert forks, playing cards or antique china cups.