Travel

4th Arrondissement Shops

Establishment neighborhood
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.
The Kooples
31 Rue des Rosiers, 4th
Started by three brothers (whose family made its fortune from French brand, Comptoir des Cotonniers), this brand splashed out across Paris aggressively and loudly. Their ad campaigns—of stylish couples who both look, and dress alike—are a good reflection of the subtly tough and subtly unisex wares here. Leather bomber jackets, black skinny jeans, and streamlined sweaters are all part of the mix. Other locations: 2nd Arrondissement, 6th Arrondissement, plus other locations.
Carven
8 Rue Malher, 4th
Carmen de Tommaso’s label launched right in step with couture houses like Balmain and Christian Dior, with some pretty key differences. At just 5’1″, de Tommaso was intent on designing for petite women, and she used her travels to the far-flung corners of the globe as fodder for the pieces. Inspired by Africa and Asia, the line was always full of bright prints and stripes, and while it went dark for decades, the brand’s recent re-emergence plays homage to that early playfulness.
Lobato
6 Rue Malher, 4th
There aren’t any clownish shoes here—in fact, there’s very little in the way of color or pattern. Instead, proprietor Miguel Lobato has built his business over the past 10-plus years by selling relative classics from some of the accessory world’s most interesting designers (Martin Margiela, Lanvin, Chloé, Jerome Dreyfuss). In keeping with the low-profile but luxe vibe, you’ll have to hit the buzzer to gain access to this clean-lined space, but what’s on the other side isn’t intimidating: This is the sort of store where you’ll find the boots you’ll wear all season, and the bag you’ll carry for at least a year.
De Bouche à Oreille (Closed)
26 Rue Roi de Sicile, 4th
The handsome exterior—rendered in slate-grey—telegraphs the specifically old-fashioned aesthetic inside. Channeling the feel of a turn-of-the-century laboratory-meets-library, you'll find wonders from the natural world (shells, skeletons, taxidermy), alongside fleur-de-lis bookends and globes. There are a handful of antiques (chandeliers and the like), though a majority of the wares are excellent reproductions, meaning they have all the charm of the originals without the hefty price tags.
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