Guerlain

Show your loved ones how much you care with these super-sweet Parisian souvenirs … Oh, and buy a few, because you might well be tempted to keep some for yourself!

A Perfect Perfume. Fragrance, true, is a personal affair — one woman’s much-loved musky mixture is another’s recipe for a headache —  but sniffing out the just-right blend is half the joy of perfume-shopping in Paris, where fragrance is a celebration of both art and science. Two must-visit fragrance boutiques are the sumptuously designed Serge Lutens (in the Palais-Royal) and the historic Guerlain flagship boutique (68 Avenue des Champs-Élysées).

A Rose Candle. Alternatively, a perfumed candle is a less risky gift, as well as an elegant way to deliver a Parisian scent — especially if it’s one from Diptyque, the city’s most iconic candle-maker. And the most romantic of all its candles is surely ‘Roses,’ which comes in a large format that is packaged prettily in pink. Find it at the original Diptyque boutique: 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75005.

Heart Jewels. Jewellery, too, is subjective, but as with fragrance, boutiques of gems abound in Paris, and it’s a delight to delve into these veritable Aladdin’s Caves. An ideal place to start your treasure hunt is Par Cœur, which has numerous locations and offers, within its range of jewels made by hand using ancient techniques, a lovely selection of heart-inspired designs.

Heart Dish. And the perfect tray in which to scatter that jewellery (or anything else for that matter) is one of the heart-shaped porcelain dishes from Marin Montagut, surely the go-to for the chicest souvenirs in all of Paris. Find them at 48 Rue Madame, 75006.

I Heart Paris’ Bag. You can, of course, buy versions of ‘I Love Paris’ bags all over the City of Light, but the most elegant option — and one that’s actually made in Paris (and handmade at that) — is by Kasia Dietz. For information and stockists, click here.

Love Top. Visit Sézane — either online or in-store — for a super-sweet selection of tops printed with ‘Amour,’ ‘Je t’aime’ and scatterings of red hearts.

Chic Chocolates. Parisian chocolate is a can’t-go-wrong present no matter the time of year, but the city’s chocolatiers outdo themselves in February, when they put a little extra love into every gift box. Take your time taste-testing (the best part of the process!), and make sure to visit a variety of Paris’s sweetest addresses, such as La Maison du Chocolat, Pierre Marcolini, and La Mère de Famille.

Moreish Macarons. Or, of course, you could buy une boîte of always-popular macarons — no other treat is as emblematic of Paris. Look for macarons in adorable heart shapes and romantic packaging in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day.

A Classic ‘Kiss’. One of the most swoon-worthy of all Parisian sculptures, Rodin’s The Kiss also comes in a miniature, mantel-perfect size in the Musée Rodin’s gift shop, so that you can take a little Parisian passion home with you. Click here for more information.

Faux Flowers. A spray of flowers is, of course, the ultimate Valentine’s gift, but for one that will last the journey home (and make it through customs), buy an artificial bouquet from Deschamps (18 Avenue Niel, 75017), the florist celebrated for decorating so many of Paris’s café awnings with vibrant floral extravaganzas.

Nothing beats early springtime in Paris for sensorial pleasure. There’s the silky feel of the sunshine, which suffuses the still-fresh air with hints of golden warmth. The sweet taste of tantalising new-season treats (such as fraisiers studded with spring’s first strawberries and macarons flavoured with zesty fruits). The delightfully easy-on-the-eye shades of blossoms and blooms, […]

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Art Hiding in Paris (Running Press, 2022) is a brilliant, ticks-all-the-boxes book. It’s a travel guide, yes, but also a treasure hunt, a history primer, and a whimsical love letter to Paris. Not to mention a visual treat. Some books are illustrated at the expense of information, while others tell too much when they should […]

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Paris’s Christmas lights twinkle well into January, and suit the City of Light so well that it seems most reluctant to take down its decorations, some of which stay valiantly a-sparkle through to the middle of the month. Fortunately, Paris has found another lovely way to remain bright and cheery beneath its (usually) grey winter […]

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