Whether for the impending holiday, forthcoming birthdays or any number of celebrations in your future, here are a few of my favorite things to inspire your own moment of gift giving.
1 — BEST BOOK RELEASES OF 2018
Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way by Rebekah Peppler
In the French Kitchen with Kids by Mardi Michels
La Bible des Alcools by Margot Lecarpentier
Maison: Parisian Chic at Home by Marin Montagut and Ines de la Fressange
Basque Country by Marti Buckley
Let’s Eat France! By Francois-Regis Gaudry and friends
[Bonus! More favorites from the year that don’t appear in the photo]
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah
L’Appart by David Lebovitz
Tasting Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier
2 — SPECIALTY COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION
Get freshly roasted specialty coffee delivered to your door from Parisian coffee roasters Belleville Brulerie (France and Europe delivery only… for now!)
3 — TRAVEL-INSPIRED FRAGRANCES FROM L’ARTISAN PARFUMEUR
L’Artisan Parfumeur, the original small-batch perfumer launched in 1976 that regularly works with the world’s leading noses, has launched travel-inspired scents that I can’t get enough of (and that’s saying a lot since it’s taken me *years* to find fragrances that didn’t set off a migraine!). The house began by rolling out Bucoliques de Provence, a scent that evokes the lavender fields in Grasse (which I wear almost every day), then Un Air de Bretagne, a scent inspired by Brittany’s sea breeze and most recently, Mandarina Corsica ,which recalls the island’s warm nights in early summer through a sweet and sharp citrus notes. I highly recommend them all for fragrance lovers.
4 — LIMITED EDITION DIPTYQUE CANDLES (Shown: Exquisite Almond)
Confession: a Diptyque candle at the holidays is as much about the specially-commissioned design as the scent itself. That said, I’ve been a big fan of these collections in recent years and this year’s iteration is equally as beautiful. Dreamed up by French designer and artist Pierre Marie (who regularly designs prints for Hermes scarves), the collection features whimsical folkore-inspired illustrations that make them keepsakes long after the last burn.
5 — PETIT TEA CUPS BY GIEN
200-year old Faience maker Gien is still going strong with new collaborations and new collections, including these tea and espresso cups (or gobelets, as they call them). I discovered them at La Trésorerie, a homewares store I love in the 10th arrondissement, and bought some in mint green. Fortunately, you don’t have to come to Paris to find them — they ship internationally and their products are carried at stores around the world. If you don’t know the brand’s back story, you’re in for a treat!
6 — SCENTED MATCHES FROM L’OFFICINE UNIVERSELLE BULY
Old-timey in the best way possible. Why scented matches? They’re far less expensive than a candle and equally as effective at perfuming ambient air (and slip into a stocking very nicely). According to Buly, the deodorizing power of matches has been attested for centuries and are excellent for sanitizing a restroom quickly and innocuously (in other words: put down the chemical air freshener!).
7 — HANDMADE HANDBAG FROM PARISIAN LABEL FAUVETTE
If you read “The New Paris”, you already know about Fauvette, the leather goods brand from Claire Rischette. My father gave me one of her small bucket bags from an earlier collection for a milestone birthday and I’ve followed her ever since. Her latest collection is stunning and can be personalized — a different color leather, monogrammed, etc. Far more unique than an LV, wouldn’t you say?
8 — SNUGGLY SLIPPERS FROM LE SLIP FRANCAIS
Or Charentaises as these guys are officially known since they’re made in Charente! Le Slip Français began as an undergarment brand and evolved into broader leisure items but one of my favorites are their comfortable slippers. What makes all of their goods special is their craftsmanship — the brand works exclusively with specialized ateliers and workshops across France (hence the higher cost) and has effectively kept many of these companies in business as a result. Not only for the items themselves but for their tags and all of the furnishings in their brick-and-mortar shops.
9 — A SUSTAINABLE WEEKENDER BAG BY RIVE DROITE PARIS
I’ve turned so many people onto this small, women-run brand and am happy to do so because I love their designs and their commitment to fighting fashion waste: their goods are upcycled, made from offcut and surplus fabrics. More about their vision here!
10 — MESSAGE ON A KEYCHAIN
Back to Fauvette! Another stocking stuffer (or anytime gift, really) that is affordable and absolutely lovely — a leather keychain that she’ll personalize with a word or two. You can also choose from the pre-designed models like Maison, Bisou, and Maman <3 Order online or pick them up directly at Atelier Couronnes, the boutique she co-owns with jewelry designer Louise Damas (also featured in “The New Paris”!).
11 — A LITTLE LOTION BY BULY
After the scented matches, you might as well go for the très utile Pommade Concrète, hand and foot cream, another stocking/handbag/briefcase stuffer and nightstand staple you’ll be glad to have in the dryness of winter.
And coming in January 2019: “The New Paris” audio book! Many of you have written to inquire about the availability of such a version and it’s finally being produced as we speak. More on this soon! Until then, have a wonderful end of the year, bonnes fêtes, and see you back here soon.