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Before we settled in beautiful France a few years ago, we traveled here almost every year. And of course every time I had to do a little bit of shopping here. Usually done at the airport, because of the détaxe, my Longchamp pliage bag collection comes from those years. Beauty products, some Hermes scarves...

There are a lot of iconic brands that will remind you of France, there is something for everyone and for every budget.

There is always a line out the door at Pralus for their delicious macarons and "pralulines"

And you don't have to splurge on Hermes or Chanel to keep memories alive. Recently I was making a trip to my home country, and I wanted to bring a little piece of France to my family and friends. I tried to select items that speak "France", and that are also not such an obvious choice. Many of them are smaller brands. You may call my selection an "insider's list" if you'd like!

A bonus - most of these brands can ship to where you are, for you to have a piece of France whenever you like.

I shared my French favorites with my friends and family

Here is what I selected:

1- while champagne is very French, I chose to bring a few bottles of crémant to celebrate our reunion. Crémant is sparkling wine made outside of the Champagne region, similar in taste to champagne, this rosé crémant came from Burgundy, but there are eight regions in France that make crémant sparkling wine.

2 - when I want to show a bit of the region has to offer, I choose samplers of local sweets in decorative boxes from one of the oldest "chocolateries" in Lyon - Voisin. This time I chose pralines (the Lyon version is pink, made out of sugar and crushed almonds), and quenelles (candy made from pralines and hazelnuts coated with a thin layer of white chocolate) to gift to family and friends.

"Chocolat Voisin" has numerous boutiques in Lyon, and they also have a website

3 - Mariage Frères teas were another selection. The company has been making luxury teas since 1854. In many many flavors, known for their unparalleled aroma and taste, the teas come in elegant shiny black boxes and cans, with yellow labelling.

4 - Elegant lavender sachets from "L'Auguste Provence" - I was introduced to the company by a friend, and quickly became a fan. I love lavender and its aroma is synonymous with Provence. Each fragrant sachet comes in a little gift box, both are printed in the unique watercolor pattern from Provence. Such a beautiful gift!

The company does not have a shop, but you can order on their website, and several shops around the world stock their products.

5 - a beautiful cashmere shawl from Eric Bompard - another great French brand, with gorgeous cashmere sweaters and accessories in a myriad of colors and patterns. French ladies wait for the sales to stock up, invest in Bompard, as the styles are classic, and the quality amazing.

One of the Eric Bompard shops in Lyon (there are three!)

6 - and of course a few flea market finds - for someone who I don't see often enough, I filled a flea market wicker basket with a couple of bottles of wine, Mariage Frères tea, lavender sachets, and sweets of course; I also found round ironstone ornaments made from chipped dishes, and used them as embellishments tying them off wine bottles, and around praline boxes. I think they will also be fabulous as Christmas ornaments. I found them at one of my favorite shops @tresorsdedadou (head over to Instagram, enter the name of the shop to see the amazing selection she has).

7 - a box of colorful macarons - this was a tricky request from my mother; they had to stay refrigerated, and since they have a short shelf life, I bought a box right before our trip, and kept them in a small fridge we always travel with in the car. They survived!

I chose to purchase the macarons at Chocolats Pralus, a chocolaterie where the famous pink praline brioche was invented.

Mouthwatering assortment at Pralus

8 - French skincare - enough articles and blog posts were written about the amazing French pharmacy products, and I have to tell you it's all true. My favorite brands are Avene, Bioderma, and La Roche Posay. They are available in the USA, but as I understand, at higher prices. When in France, head over to any bigger pharmacy to stock up.

I love the idea of saving old dishes and making ornaments out of the patterned pieces!

Thank you reading this post! I hope it was fun, and will give you some ideas for bringing a bit of France home with you when you visit this beautiful country.

Would you like to tell me what your favorite things are to bring from France? Please comment!

A bientôt!

To see the French flea market finds in my shop please visit:

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