Here you have it, PetiteBrigitte’s 1st annual Paris Gift List. Of course we would all love to do like Oprah and indulge our family and friends (and readers!) with Eric Bompard cashmere sweaters (Bon Marché) and jewelry from Adelline (rue de l’Université) this holiday season, but this Paris gift guide is for the nouveau pauvre shopper– one who has overextended his/her finances on too many nights of champagne and taxi rides. The following are PetiteB’s top 10 picks for holiday gifts bought in Paris— all ranging from 9 to 75 euros!
Joyeuses Fetes! xx, PB
1. Exquisitely posh candles from new Parisian label MEMO. These fragrant boujies smell a lot more expensive than 36 euros, and come in svelte packaging with names that will remind you to plan that next vacation. Favorites are “Marrakesh Kiss” (white tea & jasmin rain), “Take me to Saint Barth” (sweet caramel milkshake), and “Mad About Gstaad” (Christmas tree & snowflake). Actually, we’ll take a set of all 3. Available exclusively at Bon Marché, and Harvey Nichols (for UK readers).
2. Absolute Disco. Giving should be practical. So if you have party people on your list, this one will be greatly appreciated. Absolut Vodka has issued a Limited Edition vodka, covered in mirrored mosaic (hence, disco). It is a sparkling gift that requires no wrapping and probably won’t last past New Year’s! (Then it becomes a vase). 19 euros at La Grande Epicerie.
3. No one likes flimsy cocktail glasses, so seek out a sturdy set of creative highballers at Luka Luna, where for a mere 32 euros you can give 4 “citi” tumblers– heavy blown glass with a cool cityscape of either Paris, London, NYC, or Sydney. Bottom’s up! (Luna Luka: 77 rue de la Verrerie, metro: Hotel de Ville).
4. Whimsical, handmade, and shockingly affordable homewares from Le Petit Atelier de Paris. This adorable boutique, located in the Marais, also has a collection of one-of-a-kind jewelry. If you appreciate the chicness of white porcelain, some with handpainted French phrases, you will tomber amoureux with this gem of a store. 31 rue de Montmorency, 75003.
5. This one is for your best amie, (or metro-ami). The SmartBox Bien-Etre is a CD that allows your friend to choose from over 100 spas, salons, and institutes around France— she can pick from a huge selection of discounted treatments, from make-overs to lasers! An ideal gift, at a very reasonable 75 euros (you get a lot of treatments). Available at FNAC and here.
6. Habitat has some cute gifts, but nothing quite as flashy as the set of 4 flashing ice-cubes. Plop one into your next cocktail for a real attention grabber. At 9 euros, you can probably go for 2 boxes, so that no fights break out at the next housewarming party!
7. Giving professional gifts can be tricky, but for the ultimate coworker bonding gift, opt for the Executive Practical Joke set available at the Conran Shop on Rue du Bac. This is a hysterical assortiment of fake gunshot stickers, zapping pens, invisible ink, prank memos, and bloody finger bandages. 25 euros.
8. If you run into difficulties on what to give your guy friend, opt for a subscription to the new Playboy France. He won’t think you are a perv: it’s an artfully done publication with interesting Paris-centric articles. And OK, he’ll appreciate the photo layout with stunning model Julie Ordon sporting Agent Provocateur lingerie… and less.
9. Mariage Freres comes to the rescue with gift sets this holiday. Yes, the famed tea-makers might be a Parisian cliché, but this gift is NOT. The Kama Sutra tea set comes in a music box that plays to the tune of Clair de Lune, and contains 4 new creations: Kama Sutra white, green, black, and red tea. (Silver tea spoon included). Tea-time never looked so seductive. All for 50 euros.
10. For a special someone, the most personalized and practical gift on this list is as follows: Go to moo.com and order your friend personalized calling cards (14 euros for 100 cards!). You can customize as much as you want, add any graphic, and they get delivered straight to your door. You can create special stationary or stickers too. Go the extra mile and splurge on a 50 euros Montblanc card holder available in the basement of Bon Marché. An unforgettably thoughtful gift! (PS: calling cards are mandatory in Paris, especially for the single, chic woman).