You might not be in a position to gift your loved ones a trip to France this year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a little slice of la vie française this holiday season. In order from budget-friendly to splurge-worthy, these gifts promise value, class, and perhaps even a bit of je ne sais quoi.
French Pastry Made Simple: Foolproof Recipes for Éclairs, Tarts, Macarons and More is a book that lives up to its very ambitious name. Created by Molly Wilkinson, a Versailles-based and Le Cordon Bleu-educated American, this book is a great guide for any friends who love French pastry but are intimidated by the idea of trying their hand at it.
Every foodie hopes to someday win the lottery and be able to afford a full size Dutch Oven from French cookery manufacturer Le Creuset. But their Mini Round Cocotte is an excellent budget-friendly alternative for making single-size adorable dishes (Mac and Cheese with chèvre, epinards and Tomme, anyone?)
Michel et Augustin are a charming duo known for their butter cookies implanted with hearts of molten chocolate. Get a Christmas gift box of 12 bars of their cookie squares for the sweetheart or sweet-toothed-bubba in your life.
For a gift that will satisfy both foodies and budget shoppers, try the Toupine et Cabesselle Apéritif Essentials Box. These five spreads focus on the flavors of Provence, like eggplant, tomato, olive, and chickpea, and can be whipped out to spice up any pre-dinner spread and pair well with drinks.
Panier de Sens is a French fragrance company from Provence that specializes in vegan, sustainable, and eco-friendly products. The Essentials 3 Hand Creams Gift Set comes with creams bearing gorgeous Provençal scents like rose, lavender, and lemon.
Why pick a perfume for someone when you could give them the option to discover one for themselves? The La Collection Discovery Set contains six mini spray bottles of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s signature scents, ranging from deep and sultry blackberry and musk, to bright and floral jasmine and orange blossom.
Ramekins are the perfect gift: something useful that the average Jean probably wouldn’t buy for themselves. They’re perfect for soufflés, eggs en cocotte, chocolate mousse, French onion soup, or even a side of olives on a charcuterie board. And you can’t get any more French than Revol, a company founded in 1768!
Some baked goods, like the notoriously finicky macaron, require a little extra equipment to make sure things go according to plan. This Macaron Baking Kit from Sur La Table comes with a specialty silicone baking sheet, bowl scraper, pastry bags and tips, and an offset spatula.
Marrons Glacés, or candied chestnuts, are a delicacy in France, usually served around Christmas. The seminal brand Faugier sells gift boxes of the labor-intensive sweets. They might seem pricey, but if you take one bite you’ll understand why!
The boundary-pushing French fashion house Maison Margiela has released a miniature collection of perfumes “inspired by precious moments of the past,” with names like Jazz Club and Lazy Sunday Morning.
Provence has long produced some of the most fragrant, delicate, and sumptuous olive oil in the world. This collection of five Provençal olive oils from A L’Olivier focuses on flavors of the region: Lemon, Lavender, Basil, White Truffle, and Black Truffle.
It’s hard to go wrong with a good bottle of wine… or six. This Grand Tour de France Wine Collection includes some of the best that French vignerons have to offer, for a tasting tour that doesn’t require you to leave your kitchen.
The foodie in your life will go nuts over this mouthwatering collection of French treats from Williams Sonoma. The smoked salmon, triple cream brie, paté, caviar, and blinis are all sourced from France, and delivered in a charming wooden crate. Perfect for a rooftop picnic with a bottle of wine.
Violette is our French beauty spirit guide, and her capsule collection of mid-price, high-end, carefully-curated beauty products is a fab gift for any francophile. The Holiday Essentials bag includes her cult favorite Boum-Boum Milk, her oft-sold out lipstick Petal Bouche Matte, the Baume Shine highlighters, and the Frange Puff dry shampoo.
The shoe of the moment and darling of the sustainable fashion world comes from VEJA, a French sneaker brand that uses organic products and boasts with a sense of style that perfectly marks the line between classic and trendy.
If you want to wear France on your body, but get the ick from anything with an Eiffel Tower pendant on it, Talia Sari has an answer for you. You can have custom jewelry made to show a specific portion of a map anywhere in the world. Maybe it’s the street in Paris where your fiancé popped the question, or the neighborhood in Nice where you spent an unforgettable summer. It can be your little secret—or a great conversation starter.
Raphael Metivet is a French photographer best known for his intoxicatingly voyeuristic rooftop photography, which allows viewers to peer into the homes of everyday Parisians. Shop one of his dreamy prints on Etsy, or browse his Instagram for other options.
So maybe this one is a little extreme. But haven’t you ever nurtured fantasies of decorating your balcony or terrace like a Parisian cafe? (No? Just me?) If you’re in the home decor mode, you can purchase a classic French bistro table and wicker chairs to make your space feel a little more romantic.
Catherine Rickman is a writer and professional francophile who has lived in Paris, New York, and Berlin. She is currently somewhere in Brooklyn with a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @catrickman.