Must-haves to bring back from France

Each of France’s regions abounds with unique kinds of know-how. There are so many must-haves to bring back from a stay in France! Here you will find a small list to give you a few ideas...

Fashion, perfumes, accessories

The Hermès (External link) headscarf. The brand's emblematic scarf has been embodying elegance for 70 years. This colourful pure silk headscarf transcends generations and fashions.

A Louis Vuitton (External link) handbag. Louis Vuitton is a Parisian and international company of French luxury leather goods.

An emblematic perfume: Chanel Nº5 (External link) . The world’s best selling perfume ever, Nº5 has always been promoted by leading film stars. It was another star, this time from the fashion world, who chose its fragrance: Gabrielle, known as Coco Chanel. Having made hats in the provinces, she launched her haute couture house in Paris in 1910, followed by "her" perfume in 1921.

A beret. A national emblem, it is one of the popular images which represent the French man. The “Basque” beret was created in a little part of Béarn, between Lourdes and Pau.

Some espadrilles. Espadrilles were created in the Basque country in the 19th century. Today they boast a variety of colours and shapes and have even inspired stylists. In particular this “trendy” sandal has been redesigned by a manufacturer from a little village near Bayonne: Paregabia (External link) .

Some Marseille soap. It is made according to an ancestral technique which has travelled down the ages. This is a unique, natural and authentic product.

Some perfume from Grasse (External link) . The town is set high up above Cannes and overlooks the coastline of the French Riviera. It is renowned for being the world’s perfume capital. It is possible to create your own perfume during workshops.

Gastronomy, wines, tableware

Ladurée macarons. Macarons are small round cakes which are both moist and crisp. They are the emblematic product of the House of Ladurée. The House of Ladurée pays tribute to these biscuits by creating a new flavour of macaroons every month.

Laguiole (External link) knife. This famous folding knife has a catch and is decorated with a symbol (a bee). It was invented in 1829 in the village of the same name.

Some wine: - The region of Bordeaux is the land of great wines and has the most prestigious vintages in the world.
- Some wines from Burgundy, which are rooted in famous traditions and in soils of exceptional quality.

Some Champagne. A method of fermentation used in Champagne known as the "champenoise" method causes effervescence in the wine. It was created and established from the 18th century, especially by monks who were “master blenders” such as Dom Pérignon (External link) . Since then festive bubbles have travelled around the world and the “great houses” of Reims or Epernay are in the forefront. Although the vintages are not generally dated, some years are selected for their finesse even so: these then are called vintage bottles.

Some Cognac. From the 18th century, the wines of Charentes were distilled using an exclusive method (known as distillation by a pot still) which produced eau-de-vie from Cognac. Soils and vines, ageing methods and flavours all contribute to its renowned quality.

Some porcelain from Limoges. Royal Limoges (External link) : the oldest porcelain factory in Limoges with its tableware shop.

Some salt from Guérande. It is formed by the sun and the sea. The unique feature of Guérande is that, at hightide when the sea water runs into the marshes, the salt-marsh workers also gather crystals of salt flower: a veritable jewel for refined cuisine.

Some glassware from the Glassworks of Bréhat. The company has recently been established on the Garden Island of Bréhat, a landscaped tourist jewel in the Côtes d'Armor (in Brittany). Although they are situated on an island and are isolated, the glassworks are innovative and dynamic. For several years they have been rapidly developing and produce limited-series decorative objects or unique top-of-the-range items.

Some crystal from Baccarat. This has been the cradle of the renowned brand of the same name, since 1764. A visit here will encourage you to be tempted by a beautiful object!

Some cutlery from Thiers. Five centuries of tradition have moulded the spirit of this little town in Auvergne (south of Clermont-Ferrand), which is the authentic capital of these manufacturers of cutlery, edge-tools and ironware. The town, of which the industrious reputation has remained undiminished, groups together twelve or so makers of handcrafted cutlery: craftsmen who transform typical tools into rare objects...

  • And don't forget...

A French popular music record that you will be able to find at the Fnac (External link) store for example.

An Eiffel Tower, the symbol of the capital, featured on a T-shirt, made into a key ring, etc., an ornamental figure from Provence, France’s team football jersey etc.