Paris is one of the most dangerous cities to go gift-shopping. I mean, when you’re looking for the perfect piece of the City of Light to share with your family and friends, how can you resist the soaps at Fragonard, the pottery and notebooks at Astier de Villatte, the cool kid CDs at Colette or the boites of macarons and chocolates all over town—for yourself?
It’s easy to be greedy around such lovely loot. For better or worse, the price tags keep some of the madness in check. But there’s another way to work around this fair city that’s très cher: Monoprix.
Seriously! If you think about the delicacies and delights we all savor in Paris, you can find some real steals right at your neighborhood grocer. Take, for example, the pajama aisle. They may not be as raffiné as what you’d find at Le Bon Marché, but the options are pretty darn cute, nonetheless. (Don’t forget the matching slippers.)
For the men in your life, grab some jars of mustard and tins of sardines. They’re compact, come in infinite varieties, and pack a delicious punch per centime. Or, in the “personal goods” section, you can find lovely big blocks of olive oil soap, which are great “man gifts.”
Speaking of soaps, the perfume-y scents and classic packaging of Roger & Gallet make it a perfect choice for granny, while the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is a totally hip gift for your best friend—and great for the skin. Also in the cosmetics section, Bourjois lipsticks and blush will make your little sister and nieces pleased as punch.
Speculoos: Marionlon (top)/Little Daan
And we all have a sweet freak in our life. Nothing will delight them more than to feed their addiction with a bag (or two, or three) of Haribo Dragibus and Tagada. Trust me. And to make 2011 the holiday season everyone on your list will remember, stuff their stockings with the magic that is Speculoos.
- Monoprix gets clever with these quirky expressions on in-house packaging
- See how Monoprix’ croissant fares in Amy Thomas’ croissant smackdown last year
- Colette is also a neat one-stop shop for trendy souvenirs and gifts