If you can’t get to Paris to do your Christmas shopping (le sigh …), some of the city’s most fabulous gift stores will come to you. Whether you’re after a present for your best friend or boyfriend, great-niece or great-uncle, read on for inspiration …
Boutique des Musées
Consider this website — which sells the official merchandise of the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Versailles and more — a one-stop shop. It’s brimful of inspired, fabulous gift ideas for friends and family alike, from Monet and Van Gogh Rubik’s Cubes to miniature iconic statues (the Victory of Samothrace is particularly lovely) to jewellery designs taken straight from famous canvases (think an ‘Olympia’ black-velvet-and-pearl necklace).
One current star is Monopoly Louvre where, instead of real estate, you acquire as many major works as possible, with the aim being to organise exhibitions and attract visitors. And, of course, make the most Mona-Lisa-emblazoned money.
This beloved concept superstore is always packed with pitch-perfect products, so just about anything from here will wow your Paris-loving recipient. The linen bedding, which comes in a range of swoon-worthy shades, is particularly popular, though not, of course, the most practically sized gift to have posted.
You could always buy a Merci linen bag instead, which comes in numerous fun colours, as well as a tie-dye option. This should keep anyone happy until her or she can next get to Paris, and fill up said bag with the spoils from a real-life Merci shop.
In his whimsical sixth-arrondissement boutique, designer Marin Montagut sells a heart-fluttering array of fanciful handmade homewares that double as super-special gifts. And happily, most of it is available in his online boutique, too.
For the most unique gift, look to his customisation options, particularly his famous hand-painted street glass which can now be ordered with any street name at all.
Shakespeare and Company
For that someone you know who loves literature as much as Paris, the romantically ramshackle book boutique that is Shakespeare and Company is probably his or her idea of heaven on earth.
The online store — modern and streamlined in contrast to its real-world self — sells books, some rare, and a range of gift-ready options. Any book will be inked with the famous Shakespeare and Company stamp, and there are also souvenir tops, tote bags and stationery items.
An in-store gift card is a lovely gesture if your recipient intends to travel to Paris within the year. Or, if you’d like to splurge on something all the more memorable, consider the Shakespeare and Company Year of Reading, which will deliver twelve books, selected by staff and covering various genres, along with a number of other treats throughout the coming year.
For your friend/sister/daughter who dresses to lure out her inner Parisienne, this is your go-to gift-finder. There’s every kind of clothing and accessory item imaginable, along with various products that make for fool-proof gifts, from tote and toiletry bags to scarves that beg to be swished on à la Parisienne. And if the head-spinning choice gives you decision fatigue, there’s always the voucher option.
Good to know: Sézane also sells menswear. Because it also can’t hurt a guy to find his inner Parisian, too.