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  1. #1

    Default Which Department Store in Paris?

    Dear Basenotes members,

    I have the chance to visit Paris, even though on a tight schedule. I already have a (short) list of boutiques that I want to visit.

    My question is about department stores and their niche lines. Could you recommend a department store that carries a lot of niche lines as well? If I have to choose between Colette or Les Galeries Lafayette, which one would you recommend? Or any other department store that I should go to? (I think I want to visit only one of these.)

  2. #2
    Basenotes Junkie CX827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    sorry not much help here..
    just wanna let you know it's about 15mins taxi ride between Lafayette and Colette, perhaps you would have time to visit both.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    Thanks, CX827!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    Le Printemps Haussmann and Galeries Lafayette Haussmann are next to each other. Both carry various niche brands although some of these brands will be either available at Galeries Lafayette OR Le Printemps, not both stores.

    From memory, Diptyque and Creed are both exclusively sold at Le Printemps, whereas L'Artisan Parfumeur can only be found at Galeries Lafayette. Lutens (export line only) is available at both stores.

    Guerlain is only available at Galeries Lafayette but it is a Guerlain boutique (one of the 11 in Paris) so they have the full range of Guerlain perfumes including L'Art et La Matière series, and most of the extracts. You won't find them in the Sephora / Marionnaud perfume shop around the corner which only offer the most popular Guerlains (Shalimar, Vetyver...).

    My advice is that you visit both of them first before establishing a sensible purchase strategy, especially if you are eligible for the tax refund (-12%) exclusive to overseas visitors. Then you need to figure out in which of the 2 shops you are most likely to spend the required amount of money (there is a threshold for detax which is about 175 euros IIRC. You have to spend that amount in the same store, the same day, to get your 12% refund).

    Note that there are several Printemps and Galeries Lafayette stores in Paris. I am talking here about their 2 flagship stores, which are both located behind the Opera house. I don't know much about what can be found in the smaller Printemps and Galleries stores. I doubt they carry much niche.

  5. #5

    Thumbs up Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    Quote Originally Posted by catnip_too View Post
    Dear Basenotes members,

    I have the chance to visit Paris, even though on a tight schedule. I already have a (short) list of boutiques that I want to visit.

    My question is about department stores and their niche lines. Could you recommend a department store that carries a lot of niche lines as well? If I have to choose between Colette or Les Galeries Lafayette, which one would you recommend? Or any other department store that I should go to? (I think I want to visit only one of these.)
    You can not miss AU BOM MARCHÉ RIVE GAUCHE, Rue de Sèvres , near Blvd Saint Germain and to take a black coffee at CAFE DE FLORE, also near DIPTYQUE HEAD SHOP. Enjoy Paris for you and for me
    Have I told you about the scent of jasmine? Have I spoken about the smell of the sea? The earth is scented. And I perfume myself to enhance what I am. That's why I can not wear a perfume that bothers me. Perfuming is an instinctive wisdom. And like all art, it requires some knowledge of yourself..."
    Clarice Lispector ( 1920-1977) - Perfumes da Terra / Earth
    Perfumes

  6. #6
    Basenotes Junkie CX827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    ahh forgot to mention,
    if you're planning to do the VAT tax refund at Lafayette VAT refund counter,
    dont forget to get the documents stamped at the airport, otherwise you wont get the fund back to your CC.

    have fun in Paris, definitely a gorgeous city

  7. #7

    Default Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    Le Bon Marché is a nice, medium size department store with a quieter atmosphere than Les Galleries but their perfume offer is a quarter of the combined strike force of Le Printemps (LP) and Les Galleries Lafayette. Both have way more niche than LBM.

    You don't really need to visit LBM if you have already spent 2 hours at LGL and LP. Instead plan a visit to an exclusive perfume house of which no perfume is available at a department store (Frederic Malle, Parfums de Nicolaï, Parfumerie Générale, or the Lutens temple in Palais Royal for their exclusive, non export line, or even the Chanel boutique rue Cambon to try Sycomore or Bois des Iles).
    Last edited by Reminiscent; 14th May 2010 at 04:30 PM. Reason: added Lutens and Chanel

  8. #8

    Default Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    My number one recommendation fora department store is Galeries Lafayette! The store will overwhelm you and the ceiling is divine. A step back to the 19th century.

    Also try the Etat Libre d'Orange boutique in the Marais: 69, rue des Archives....pun fully intended! Of course, try the Caron boutique if you can.
    Last edited by Primrose; 14th May 2010 at 07:47 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    Thank you all for your helpful suggestions!!

    Chassagne Montrachet, thank you for the detailed descriptions of the two stores!

    Galeries Lafayette is now firmly on my list. I am most interested in Guerlain's L'Art et La Matière series, so I might be able to save myself a trip to Guerlain itself. Parfums de Nicolai was on my original, short list, along with FM's boutique and a couple of others. It seems I'll be busy...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Which Department Store in Paris?

    You can visit the Le Collette store in Paris. I happened to walk by and it's a mad house in there. They even have security gaurds standing at the door.

    213 Rue Saint-Honoré
    75001 Paris, France
    01 55 35 33 90

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