Petit Plaisir de Rue St. Honoré

Tastes of Paris.

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Hérmes, Chanel, Dior: oh, just shiny, beautiful dimes among dozens of coveted brands studding Rue St. Honoré. Between posh cafés fluffed with furs and sounds of polished leather shoes clapping on cobblestones, it’s hard to imagine any gems left hidden on a street so well known for being a “seen” scene.

But as with all things in Paris, every nook and cranny, every spontaneous turn, reveals something delightfully new or strikingly old. So if you happen to find yourself fatigued by what you know, here are a few little boutiques where unexpected pleasures will reinvigorate you for round two—or 12.

Astier de Villatte

Here sits a hidden trove of handmade ceramics made of black terracotta sourced from the immediate region. Their designs are a playful clash of 18th and 19th century design and unpredictable whimsy.

New York designer John Derian collaborated on a series of surreal fairytale characters displayed on dinnerware. Their more recognized designs in milky glazes feature elegant tureen topped with affable Snoopy and Charlie Brown, utilitarian teapots laid with patterns of marbled bookends, and, tucked away in an unassuming corner, a ceramic sculpture of a raw steak. What do you use it for? Your imagination.

Rose Coste Dani Rose

Just outside the seductive Hôtel Costes, a tiny, jewel box flower shop blooms with nothing but varietals of roses, from common garden blooms to dusty lavender buds smelling of anise, and antique blossoms with impossible spirals of petals and notes of passionfruit and honey.

Florescent arrangements cascade from every surface in both an austere and sensual manner. As if every other sense had not yet been touched, take a deep breath in, relax, and smell the (literal) roses.

Fauré le Page

Just off Rue St. Honoré on the iconic Rue Cambon (home of the original Chanel boutique), this French firearms manufacturer, established in 1717, is now appealing to fashion lovers with an affinity for deep history.

Originally famed as master craftsmen creating hunting accessories for kings and sabers for Napoleon, and even marking history with weapons for revolutionary forces, Fauré Le Page has now lowered its guns and turned its expertise to charmingly designed luxury goods.

Like beautiful art deco scales, their pieces are equally adroit and flirtatious, “arming us for seduction”. On seeing their playful pieces shaped like revolvers and extravagantly exaggerated tassels I, too, was rendered powerless to resist.

Photos by Jackie Kai Ellis.

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August 28, 2015