If you’re shopping in Paris, perhaps you’d like to make some purchases that reflect Paris’s captivating flavours, textures and unique tastes. Well, look no further – here are some unique items you can only buy in Paris, from Angelina chocolate to Parisian tea.
In 1903, the confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer founded Angelina, which he named after his daughter-in-law. For more than a century, this Paris tearoom has built a reputation as a place of sophistication and indulgence, selling its products exclusively in Paris. As soon as it opened, Angelina became the place to be among the Parisian elite. Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel rubbed shoulders with the biggest names in fashion in Angelina’s salons, so who knows who you’ll bump into when you’re buying your chocolate here.
Jean-Vincent Bully has been known for his talents as a distiller, perfumer and cosmetician on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris since 1803, often using exotic flowers. These perfumes inspired French writer Honoré de Balzac in 1837 when depicting scenes of Parisian life in La Comédie Humaine. Nowadays, this celebrated beauty shop continues its travels in the spirit of conquest and innovation. Imagined in Paris, formulated in a French laboratory and fed on the advances of contemporary cosmetics while being faithful to ancient recipes, Buly offers care using the virtues of natural ingredients.
The Bouquinistes of Paris are booksellers of antiquarian books (bouquins) who ply their trade along large sections of the banks of the Seine. They span from the Right Bank at Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the Left Bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire, selling a fascinating selection of secondhand literary wonders. There’s a certain magic to shopping for books along the Seine, which is often described as “the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves.”
Since its creation, Byzance has been praised for three exceptional products: caviar, Iberian ham and smoked salmon. The sensory experience lets loose a whole world of flavours, textures and unique tastes, with Bellota-Bellota hams boasting a passport guaranteeing full traceability. They specify everything from the percentage of Iberian breed and Finca origin right through to feed. All Bellota-Bellota hams are hand-sliced by professional, fully trained Master Cortadors under the mantra that only precise slicing can lead to a superior sensory experience.
A selection of Comptoirs Richard’s naturally perfumed organic tea, themed along the lines of the best landmarks of Paris, is sold from prices beginning at €11 (£10) at eight stores in Paris. From Place de la Bastille to Champ de Mars, where the famous Eiffel Tower is located, to the Latin Quarter and L’Arc de Triomphe, you can take home a drinkable reminder of your favourite place in Paris.
Another specialty of Comptoir Richard’s unique landmark-themed products is chocolate. With gorgeous artwork scenes of people having picnics by the River Seine and delicious flavours like almond caramel on offer starting from only €4.95 (£4.50), they make great souvenirs or artisan snacks to pick up while in Paris.
Sold in Paris’s trendy 11th arrondissement of Paris at Les Niçois but hand-crafted in Provence, the Thoïoniade of Papi Jeannot offers a unique blend of olives, tomatoes and garlic to complement the tuna; it is perfect on a crispy baguette. With no preservatives, no colouring and no artificial flavours, this jar of wonder is crammed full of artisanal goodness.
Kasia Dietz‘s unique hand-crafted products include these tote bags, minimalist representations of the Left and Right Banks of the River Seine. Hand-painted, reversible and made entirely in Paris, Kasia Dietz‘s bag collections comprise only 15 to 25 pieces each and sell fast.
A boîte gourmande de Paris is a fabulous gift idea, as almost everyone loves artisan biscuits. What’s more, you can buy them in a stylish re-usable tin with the Eiffel Tower and other landmark designs, starting from €26 (£23.70) for 270g of the delicious snack.
Studio des Parfums in Paris offers the unique chance to discover the magic world of perfume-making by crafting your own fragrance. With 150 scented bases of exceptional quality, carefully selected from the world of custom cologne, you can create an authentic fragrance in the tradition of French luxury perfume. The craft has been honed over 10 years in the heart of the fashion district of Paris, the Marais.
Parisians have always been known as pioneers of style, with a host of unique items storming the fashion scene each year. This curious sequined mini finger-less glove is something that can only be bought from Philippe Audibert’s Parisian store, for the hefty sum of €800 (£728), mind you. Each sequin has been hand-stitched, making it a truly original example of a Parisian accessory.