Paris Christmas gifts: a guide Alaia

Paris Christmas gifts: a guide

Move over macaroons and Eiffel Tower key rings, take a look at these unusual Paris gifts

Travelling to Paris during the Christmas season? When considering the perfect present from the city of light it can be tempting to go with the best known brands, but Paris has plenty of keepsakes that are well worth parting with your money for. We've found some of the best lesser known brands that live up to the high quality we've come to expect from this city.

Azzedine Alaïa instead of Chanel N°5

Although Chanel N°5 will always be synonymous with the parisienne, things are fast changing in favour of more modern, smart and clean scents. Encased in a chic black glass flask made to look like a spool of gold thread, the fragrance, which the famed French-Tunisian couture designer describes as ‘the smell of cold water falling on chalk’ is the first in his 30-year career. www.alaia.fr

Aux Merveilleux de Fred instead of Ladurée macaroons

aux-merveilleux-de-fredAux Merveilleux de Fred

Ladurée macaroons wrapped up in their emblematic pistachio-green paper bags are an institution: however, ever since Frédéric Vaucamps opened his first patisserie of reinvented, light and fluffy meringue and cream French Merveilleux cakes, macaroons have taken a back seat. The artisan patisseries come in several flavours and sizes and are all made onsite at each lavishly decorated shop. www.auxmerveilleux.com

Dammann Frères instead of French tipple

Dammann-ABommart141105-100A. Bommart

Mr Dammann started selling tea in 1692 under Louis XIV, and centuries later, business is booming. Among the world’s very best teas, Dammann is still one of the few companies that sends its expert tea tasters across the globe to seek out the most flavoursome leaves. We love the chic Place des Vosges boutique in Paris for its knowledgeable staff and hushed ambience. www.dammann.fr

Related: What to pack for Paris in winter

A notebook by LCK Kraft

LCK-notebooks A Produit-1LCK Kraft

Although still little known, La Compagnie du Kraft has been making stylish leather bound, rechargeable and (nearly) indestructible notebooks since the 1930s. Handmade in Paris, they started out as the top choice of lumberjacks who needed a sturdy tool for recording information. Now made in a range of colours, the notebooks can be customised, and still last a lifetime. www.lekraft.com

Related: Bespoke experiences in Paris

La Note Parisienne candle instead of Dyptique candles

Note-Parisienne-e-grosse--boiteLa Note Parisienne

While we still love Dyptique, it’s time to trade it in for something more contemporary and unusual with La Note Parisienne’s artisan candles. Each one takes you on an olfactory journey through Paris’ different districts, like the arty and glitzy 6th arrondissement of Saint Germain, represented by notes of orange blossom, cognac, jasmine, rose, fig and lipstick. www.lanoteparisienne.com

A hamper from Causses instead of Hédiard or Fauchon

Photo-fromage-t-Charlotte-du-GenestouxCharlotte du Genestoux

Causses is a bohemian-chic eatery, grocery store and épicerie of beautifully presented ‘healthy, tasty, simple’ quality French products including everything from wine to preserves, and chocolates to cheeses. Founded by Frenchman Alexis Roux two years ago in the fashionable South Pigalle area, Causses now has a Marais outpost that comes with a full restaurant. www.causses.org


1 Aux Merveilleux de Fred
2 Dammann Frères
3 La Compagnie du Kraft
4 La note parisienne
5 Causses