105 Rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd Arrondissement
Fact: They don’t let you leave Paris without at least half a suitcase’s worth of marinière shirts. Ok, it’s not exactly fact, but we do like to spend some time at Maison Labiche when we’re in town. This is where stack upon folded stack of striped cotton tees and sweaters sit snugly in the little nooks that line the walls. And because we’ve never met a monogram we didn’t love, Maison Labiche is an especially important stop: they’ll embroider whatever you want right on the spot.
Love Stories Paris
75 Rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd Arrondissement
Love Stories hails from Amsterdam, but the lingerie is so delicate, it may as well be Parisian. The matching sets, which come in varying degrees of skimpiness, are a good place to start. We love the selection of supremely comfortable bralettes in cotton and lace for traveling, or just lounging in. There’s also a smart edit of accessories, and somehow, we can never leave the store without adding a silk sleep mask or floral-print laundry bag (so convenient for storing underwear or purses) to our basket.
5 Rue des Filles du Calvaire, 3rd Arrondissement
You'd know a Papier Tigre notebook (or envelope or calendar or day planner) if you saw one. They're all distinctly colorful and geometric and always totally utilitarian. Another bonus of buying paper goods in bulk to hand out to friends back home? They don't take up much suitcase space at all, and they make recipients giddy with glee.
7 Rue de Lille, 7th
Karl Lagerfield is thoroughly modern polymath: He’s a fashion designer, photographer, illustrator, collaborator, and…bookworm. 7L is Lagerfeld’s very well-situated (the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and Saint-Germain are all close by) shrine to design. The shelves stretch up the height of two floors and are heavy with books, which are stacked rather than lined up horizontally. After an hour or two spent rummaging for titles across interior and fashion design, photography, garden landscaping, and, of course, tomes produced under 7L’s own imprint, collapse into the long sofa and start reading.
25 rue Hérold, 1st
While we primarily love this concept store in the 1st for its coffee table books, there are plenty of other unique odds and ends to ogle, from taxidermied beetles and butterflies, to original works of art, to the most stunning wood-handled toothbrush set. There's a great range of furniture and plenty of quirky gifts for any art-loving friends.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian
7 Rue des Blancs-Manteaux, 4th
Francis Kurkdjian's nose may be responsible for some big blockbuster scents (he created Jean Paul Gaultier's Le Male at the beginning of his career—and then went on to do dozens more for pretty much every big fashion house around), but it's his special projects that we love best. He helped artist Sophie Calle bottle the smell of money in 2003, and in 2006 he recreated the scent of Marie Antoinette for an installation at Versailles. It's no surprise that at his namesake, gallery-like boutiques in the 1st and 4th arrondissements, things are done a little differently: Perfumes are set against a wall of light, and the offerings go well beyond the traditional. His signature scents infuse everything from incense paper to leather bracelets to home sprays, and his now-famous traveling perfume case is on hand should you require a custom fragrance.
Voyageurs du Monde
48 Rue Sainte-Anne, 2nd
This fantastic little travel bookshop is owned by the major travel agency across the street. While this may seem like a clever sales ploy, that doesn’t detract from the selection. Here you’ll find novels and nonfiction from around the world—some in English—along with maps, city guides, and a considered edit of handsome and practical travel accessories. Pop in at the ever-changing pop-up next door and you might pick up a jacket or home accessory, too, from some far-flung brand or workers cooperative.
Librairie Alain Brieux
48 Rue Jacob, 6th
A bookshop and antiquarian for over a century, Librairie Alain Brieux specializes in rare scientific and sometimes esoteric titles, though the real allure is its cabinet-of-curiosities vibe. The windows and interior displays are continually refreshed with weird and wonderful assortments of vintage anatomical models, glass eyes, unusual toys, and the like.
6 Rue Bonaparte, 6th
The husband-and-wife team behind revamped cosmetics line Buly added a couple degrees of fantasy when furnishing their flagship shop—modeled after a nineteenth-century apothecary—with Tuscan tiled floors, Italian marble counters, intricately carved wooden cupboards, and prettily painted beams. And then there are the products: alcohol-free scents and modern, paraben-free formulations, beautifully packaged in old-fashioned vials and glass jars. Whether you’re in the market or not, this shop is a treat just to look at.
21 Quai Malaquais, 6th
From cofounder Jeanne Signoles comes this new must-have bag brand—done in canvas, and with a utilitarian, slightly nautical aesthetic. It’s hard not to fall for the simplicity of the concept: Choose the color for the bag, trims, and handles and add your initials in Futura. Stop by the small, sleek, Masamichi Katayama-designed space to specify your bag, suitcase, tote, or pencil case.
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