It is only 3 days away from Christmas, and although I’m sure you aren’t all procrastinators like me, I thought it would be a good time to give you a short list of my favorite places to get last minute gifts in the Montmartre area of the 18th arrondissement of Paris. These places are mainly small boutiques (no big brand name stores) that sell jewelry, clothes, gifts and handbags that are actually made or created in Paris or in France…which is what I’m looking for when I send a gift to a friend overseas. The last thing I want to get them is something that they could have bought at their local H&M. So here are my top 5 go-to places, when in need of a special gift:
Make My D…Make my D… or as I like to call it, Make my Day, is a store full of carefully selected clothing and accessories by Nathalie Bui, that’s right, Barbara Bui’s sister. She has a talent for finding the most amazing items and her store always gives me the feeling that I am entering my (imaginary) fashionable friend’s walk-in closet. While she stocks Dutch and other European brands, you are sure to equally find Parisian based brands like Fine collection (cozy sweaters and other clothing) and My Boobs Buddy (cheeky T-shirts supporting breast cancer research).
What do I buy here? : Wallets, clutches and handbags by the Parisian brand Shine Blossom. They are made with soft leather in a variety of colors and styles. I love the details and the bright interior lining and have bought several items from this brand for friends and family! My black bag is pictured at the end of this post!
7 rue la Vieuville
+33 (0)1 44 92 82 98
La Boutique EtoiléeThis cute little boutique is located in the quiet rue Durantin and is great if you’re looking for a girly, sparkly gift for your best friend or sister. It is kind of like going to a local designer craft fair as all the items sold here are made by French (mainly Parisian) designers. My favorite jewelry brands discovered here include Chouette Fille (beautiful bracelets made from pastel colored, metallic and sparkly pieces of leather) and Virgnie Mahé (Art Deco inspired brass and enamel earrings that really stand out and give you a quirky, vintage look).
What do I buy here? Pretty gold or silver plated earrings by Hélèn Bussi that give you a classy bohemian look (a pair I bought is equally pictured below).
16 Rue Durantin, 75018 Paris
+33 (0)9 81 05 87 43
Cosi LotiIf you’re looking for some great home décor items, then you can’t beat Cosi Loti. It is actually equidistant from Abbesses and Pigalle metro stations and you are always greeted with a smile from the moment you enter the door. From framed inspirational quotes to scented candles to Japanese-style ceramic bowls and cups, you are sure to find inspiration for that special gift or for your apartment. They also have some jewelry and handbags for sale at the entrance of the store.
What do I buy here?: Tea towels, aprons and cushions featuring cute patterns, graphic prints, and phrases such as “oh la la”, made by La Cerise sur le Gâteau. Perfect light gifts to send in the mail!Contact Details:
21 rue Houdon
+33 (0)1 44 92 90 39
Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi is the place to go for bobo/rock-inspired jewelry created and made in Paris. Although there is another boutique in the Marais, I usually shop at this location. I love the simplicity of their pieces that stand out thanks to the various religious emblems and influences from nature chosen. Baroque crosses, flowered skulls, totem polls, brass knuckles, feathers, daggers and other medieval medals are just a few of the choices of pendants you can have on a simple silver or gold chain. The boutique itself uses natural elements like fur, moss covered stones, plants and animal skulls to lighten the sometimes dark and medieval feel of some of their creations. Very popular with trendy tattooed Parisians.
What do I buy here?: Dangling gold bow and arrow earrings or a silver ring that looks like a French crown with delicate engravings and Fleur de Lys ends….too many choices to list!Contact Details:
6 rue Ravignan
+33 (0)1 42 57 77 77
PaperdollsThis concept store is so unique that it is worth a visit just to admire the decor, but if you look closer you will be equally impressed by the work of the various independent designers (mostly French) found inside. Clothing and accessories are presented in this universe, which is divided into sections corresponding to the various rooms (e.g. dressing room, kitchen) of an apartment. The bathroom features an old bathtub reconverted into a sofa, vintage taps and mirrors nailed to the wall, changing rooms hidden by shower curtains and jewelry displayed over two quaint dressing tables. The office has pretty rings laid out on a desk with an antique typewriter nearby. Floral wallpaper, porcelain plates and many other girly touches make Paperdolls a real pleasure to visit.
What do I buy here?: Cute rings by Emmanuelle Biennassis, featuring cutouts of clouds, foxes, sparrows or hearts. Very playful and fun, perfect for your little niece!
5, rue Houdon
So there you go! Obviously there are tons of other stores I could add, but that will have to come in another post… as I have to get out and finish my Christmas shopping! :p Happy holidays everyone!