While many of us are used to texting a quick thank you or sending invites by email, in Paris it is still common to send a handwritten letter, some businesses even preferring to receive handwritten job applications. This is reflected in the number of beautiful papeteries that continue to thrive. Here are the best places around the city to stock up on exquisite stationery.
Marie Tournelle is a cozy little treasure trove found on the Île Saint-Louis and is brimming with souvenirs, gift cards and paper supplies. Every surface and space is filled with some trinket or notebook, a lot of which has some sort of Eiffel Tower emblem on it, but in more of a tasteful way than the usual gaudy tourist shop. Their selection of hand-cut pop-up cards would make a wonderful alternative to the usual postcard.
Marie Tournelle, 5 Rue des Deux Ponts, 75004 Paris, France, +33 1 56 24 07 70
Step back in time as you enter this stationery and calligraphy shop, whose shelves are stocked with charmingly old-fashioned quills, ink bottles, fountain pens and embossed papers. One wall of the shop has been plastered with an impressive selection of handwritten letters from happy customers from all over the world. Even if you’re not a hard-core calligrapher, you may wish to pick up some of their hand printed gift cards or perhaps a sheet of beautifully decorated wrapping paper.
Mélodies Graphiques, 10 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris, France, +33 1 42 74 57 68
The walls have been fitted with rows of pull out drawers, lined with beautiful hand-pressed papers and gift cards, with prints from local artists. It is a sleek, professional layout, but the lady who owns it is more than accommodating and happily talks you through any of the products, even if you may have no intention of buying anything, demonstrating her clear passion for the art of papery. Sheets of decorative and (quite unusually) vegetable-based paper are displayed at the back of the shop to flick through like posters, while you can find leather-bound notebooks and personalized photo albums dotted around the store.
Calligrane, 6 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris, France, +33 1 48 04 09 00
Another road in Paris which is home to a number of papeteries is Rue du Bac, and it is here that this Swedish-owned chain store can be found. Simple, stylish yet bright designs characterize the products sold here, which range from photo albums to notebooks, all of which you can pay to have engraved in-store with your name, a message or just a pretty design.
Bookbinders Design, 130 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, France, +33 1 42 22 73 66
Olivier de Sercey
A very traditional and high-end engraver and printer, Olivier de Sercey supplies personalized paper and envelopes to the elite, and a number of its previous commissions are proudly displayed in the window, with titled paper of various ambassadors and royals on view. You could make your own letters official by investing in one of the personalized and custom-made embossing seals, one of their specialties.
Olivier de Sercey, 96 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, France, +33 1 45 49 20 80
A stylish Italian stationery supplier just a few doors down from Olivier Sercey, Fabriano offers a range of arty little cards, stationery sets and chic calligraphy books, along with advice on all you need. It is modern and minimalist, and all products and paper are made from quality leather, linen or hemp. This quality is well reflected in the expertly thought-out layout of the shop, which is uncluttered but not without choice.
Fabriano, 90 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, France, +33 1 49 87 11 95
Although a department store may not have quite the same romantic appeal as a hidden little boutique, BHV wins hands down for sheer choice. Almost an entire floor of the enormous building is dedicated to stationery and art supplies. Famous brands such as British Paperchase and German Leuchtturm contribute to the amazing selection. There is one particularly cool brand stocked called Décopatch, which sells sticky strips of decorative paper in all kinds of designs, which can be used to decorate anything from canvases to little cardboard figurines (also on sale).
BHV, 52 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris, France, +33 9 77 40 14 00
L’Art du Papier
One of a chain of four across Paris, the store stocks a simple yet extensive range of brightly colored paper, envelopes, pens and stamps as well as contemporary storage devices and notebooks for an office or home. They also offer a personalizing service, where you can have sets of business cards or paper customized, the details of which can be found in store or on their website. This is a great choice for stocking up on essentials, as it is not too expensive, while the products still remain a little bit different.
There are three of these stores set at various points down the road: the first and second selling adult and baby clothes, followed by this one that sells fabric and stationery. While the stationery selection is small, you could easily spend a lot of time in this shop, sifting through the boxes of buttons and flicking through the fun, bright papers and fabrics. It would be particularly appealing to those who appreciate arts, crafts and origami, and this is more of a focus than the stationery itself, which is nonetheless very pretty and fun.
Petit Pan, 76 Rue François Miron, 75004 Paris, France, +33 1 44 54 90 84
Benneton Graveur has been engraving since its opening in 1880 and has maintained its reputation ever since. Specializing in engraved letter paper and envelopes, they also hold cabinets of gold signet rings and pens, which have been delicately engraved with font or crests. Many of the envelopes are silk-lined, and you can request gold leaf trims for the cards, which you can imagine has a very impressive result. In any case, it is worth a visit, even if just for the warm welcome you will receive from the little dog who belongs to the owner. There are some little cards with sketched prints of Parisian landmarks on them, which would also make a tasteful souvenir.
Benneton Graveur, 75 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, France, +33 1 43 87 57 39
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