Our guide to Paris: Part I

We recently went on a short trip to Paris and were reminded what a fabulous city it is. We revisited some of our old favourite haunts and discovered some new ones. Here, in Part One, are our top picks of where to shop in Paris.


Truly one of our favourite shops, Officine Universelle Buly, 6 rue Bonaparte, 75006, is located just near the Seine on the left bank.   Originally founded in 1803, it was known as a perfume and scented-vinegar brand with it’s founder, Jean-Vincent Buly, the inspiration for a Balzac character.   Then in 2014, the brand was recreated by husband-and-wife team, Ramdane Touhami (a former co-owner of Cire Trudon) and Victoire de Taillac (former Colette PR and sister of the jeweller Marie-Hélène de Taillac).  The atmospheric shop has dark wooden cabinets and rows of scented creams, soaps and perfumes.  Once you’ve chosen your purchase, your name is hand written on a special label. It’s all beautifully packaged and makes for an enchanting visit.

Walk down the Rue de Tournon, adjacent to Le Jardin du Luxembourg, and you’ll find some of our top independent French ateliers all on one street.  First, there’s the lovely kids clothes and accessories Bonpoint boutique (don’t miss their outlet too for past season stock at reduced prices at 42 Rue de L’Universite, 75006.  We also love Bonton for kids clothes and accessories too.  There is a large store around the corner from the much-loved interiors and fashion store Merci in the Marais).  Then you’ll come to Marie-Hélène de Taillac‘s gorgeous jewellery store, pictured below left, (did you know that Taillac used to work for milliner Philip Treacy?)  A few doors down you’ll find two of our favourite ceramic stores – Marie Daâge (we particularly love their small expresso cups) and Astier de Villatte, (below right) for their beautiful and distinctive grey/white pottery.

Around the corner from Rue de Tournon is Marin Montagut at 48 Rue Madame, 75006 which  artist and author Montagut opened in June 2020. An absolutely charming shop selling glassware (which, top tip, you can personalise), ceramics, stationery, textiles and a large array of interiors ephemera.  We came away with a beautiful handmade wall-hanging but really, we could have bought everything in the shop.

A Little Bird Paris Guide Marin Montagut
A Little Bird Paris Guide Marin Montagut

Walk into the picturesque courtyard at 12 Rue Saint-Sabin, 75011 and you’ll find the lovely office and workshop of A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson.  Co-founded by Vincent Farelly and Jean-Baptiste Martin, both heritage wallpaper restorers,  they have been creating blockprint recreations of 18th Century ‘domino papers’ at their workshop and collaborating with brands such as Gucci, La Durée and Diptyque since 2012.  You’ll find wallpapers, cushions, stationery, perfume and more at their shop – all decorated in their distinctive prints.

Le Bon Marché is our top department store in Paris – it has a carefully edited selection of fashion, food, homewares and beauty. It’s not too large and the food section will make your mouth water. Many of it’s items, particularly in the home section, are made specifically for the shop and it also specialises in one-off collaborations such as this one here below with Maria de la Orden.  It also houses one of our favourite delis – the Rose Bakery on the first floor (for more info see our restaurant picks in the Paris Guide Part II).

Le Samaritaine, 9 Rue de La Monnaie, 75001, is the shiny newest department store in Paris.  Housing all the usual upmarket brands from Balenciaga to Bulgari, it also has a large Conran-type shop on the ground floor with a fun edit of current products from soap to neon signs.  Housed in a beautiful arts and crafts building, don’t forget to look up!

For more ceramics (yes we are obsessed!), don’t miss Grien, one of the oldest and most established bespoke ceramics houses and opposite the most charming small shop with handmade ceramics and jewellery at Alix.D.Reynis (below),  both on Rue Jacob, 75006. Casa Lopez is another favourite – visit their shops at 25 and 26 Boulevard Raspail, 75007- an interiors haven with a selection of earthenware style plates, lamps and ceramics.

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