Gardens to Gifts: Picturesque Voyages Holiday Gift Guide

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For millennia the bounty of French gardens has been transformed into a wide array of artisanal goods, from gastronomy to housewares. These centuries’ old traditions are being maintained, or revisited, by a variety of craftsmen and entrepreneurs around the country. Through our tours we strive to advocate this living heritage by introducing visitors to some of the figures that are keeping these traditions alive. Their exceptional creations, from candles to porcelain, also make for great French gift ideas, like these examples included in our holiday gift guide.

Officine Bully 2

 

l’Officine Universelle Buly

In the late 18th century, Jean-Vincent Bully  developed into one of the era’s top perfumers.  In 1803, he opened a boutique selling his perfumes and scented vinegars on the chic rue Saint Honoré. He employed the latest scientific advancements to make his avant-garde fragrances and skincare products, including exotic flowers like those imported by Joséphine de Beauharnais, the future Empress. Among his famed products was the “Vinaigre de Bully,” a patented aromatic lotion, whose fame spread across Europe. An innovator and trendsetter, Bully (who dropped the second “L” in his last name) also served as the inspiration for César Birotteau, a character in Honoré de Balzac’s series La Comédie Humaine. The brand disappeared in 1939, however, was revived in 2014 by Victoire de Taillac and Ramdane Touhami. The contemporary designers aim to carry on Bully’s craft through a line of perfumes, beauty products, scented candles and other fragrant products. Learn more about Joséphine de Beauharnais and Napoloéon on our tour at the Château de Malmaison.

Epices Roellinger

Epices Roellinger

Since 1982, Olivier and Jane Roellinger have been creating unique spice blends. Epices Roellinger is based in the Breton of Saint Malo, the seafaring city’s spice traditions go back to the 17th century when it became the main trading port of the French East India Company. Except for pepper, spices are meant to be blended and the Roellingers pride themselves on their quality and innovative flavors available as individual powders, oils, condiments or in assorted gift sets.

Maison Fragile

In 2017 Mary Castel reignited her family’s heritage in the art of Limoges porcelain. At the same location on Rue de Paradis where Castel’s ancestors once created and distributed porcelain, Maison Fragile revisits tableware while honouring its deep rooted traditions in French craftsmanship. To achieve this, the forward-thinking company has teamed with top Limoges artisans and distinguished artists and chefs. For example, its latest collection, entitled Mother Nature, was created by Alain Passard, an ode to the three Michelin-starred chef’s admiration of vegetables.

Cire Trudon 

Although this historic candle creator is no longer at its original location, its roots go back to 1643 when Claude Trudon opened a shop on rue Saint Honoré. Soon Trudon’s perfectly white beeswax candles were used to light the Palace of Versailles, aristocratic homes and France’s most important churches. The Trudon empire later expanded with the acquisition of the Royal Wax Manufacturer 1737. The company managed to survive the Revolution and, even a greater feat, the invention of electricity. In 2007 it rebranded as Cire Trudon and focused in on the scented candles made in their Normandy atelier and using high quality natural essences, which are also available in their separate perfume lines.

Trois Fois Vin

If you’re looking for a gift for a wine-lover then the carefully selected wine boxes of Trois Fois Vin could be the perfect option as well as a change from une simple bouteille. With over 20 years experience in the wine industry, Marie-Dominique Bradford was one of the first in France to sell wine boxes subscriptions. She has personal and immense knowledge of the small, lesser known wine producers that are represented in her boxes. These are available in four different formats from 2 bottles/month for 24.90 euros to  65.90 euros//month for three “premium” bottles. These, along with individual bottles, are also for sale at her wine shop in the Marais.

Candora Paris

In recent years, niche perfumeries have been blossoming in France, like this unique perfumery which was launched in 2011 and which has had a boutique in the Marais since 2017. Candora’s team have created a collection of 19 fragrances using the best raw materials. These are available as individual fragrances, gift sets, scented candles or can be combined to make your own custom scent during our Picturesque Tastes – Perfume Sensorial Experience. The two hour tour and workshop delves into the history and manufacturing process of perfume and finishes with the creation of your own fragrance.

Picturesque Voyages Tour Gift Certificate

Have a loved one traveling to Paris in 2020? A Picturesque Voyages Tour gift certificate could be the perfect gift. Plus, if you order any tour before March 1, 2020, we are offering 10% off regular tour prices. Contact us here for details.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!

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