A Visit to Jo Malone boutique in Paris – Rue Saint Honoré

Last Saturday I popped in to the flagship Jo Malone store in Paris for a hand and arm massage as well as a bit of retail therapy. Situated on the luxury shopping street of Rue Saint Honoré, the store enjoys a prime piece of real estate directly opposite the trendy Colette store.

Like all Jo Malone boutiques, the store was bright, airy, exceptionally clean and smelled heavenly.

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Gorgeous, minimaliste decor

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Wish my collection looked like this!

The quintessential British brand has become a luxe cult favorite. Oprah reportedly adores their bath oils, while Kate Middleton ensured that Jo Malone candles burned their sweet smell in Westminster Abbey for her wedding to Prince William. Princess Kate apparently loves the brand so much; she handed out Jo Malone party favors at her baby shower!

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Gorgeous collaboration with Michael Angove

Seeing as Jo Malone now sell five categories of fragrances, I arrived at the store with a list –an actual printed list – of scents I was interested in. The lovely store assistant, Celine, was ever professional and took the time explain the key notes of each fragrance and the concept behind their creation.

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Jo Malone’s London Rain Collection

It was very difficult to narrow down the extensive list of choices, but in the end I was left with two very different scents. We decided to use one scent on each arm during the massage… supposedly to help with my final decision.

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

The Tasting Bar

Celine started by a warm towel wipe followed by a gentle lathering of Nectarine Blossom and Honey hand and body wash. For my left arm I chose the Blue Agava and Cacao body cream followed by a generous spritz of the fragrance. On the other arm I went with the classic English Pear and Freesia body cream, again followed by a spritzing of the same scent.

The massage was meant to help me decide on my favorite of the two, but in the end, unable to choose one over the other, I purchased both! (Reviews coming shorty!)

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

I could not resist!

Wrapping purchases at the Jo Malone store is a joy in itself. Each item is lovingly nestled on black tissue paper, placed in a luxurious Jo Malone cream and black signature box tied with an elegant ribbon. The stylist will then liberally spray another sheet of tissue paper in your chosen scent and place this inside a thick, creamy Jo Malone paper bag, again finished off with their signature black ribbon. It’s very hard to resist a purchase when the packaging is this special!

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Dreamy Wrapping

Jo Malone Paris Saint HonoreJo Malone is renowned for their Art of Fragrance Combining or ‘layering’, which helps one create their own bespoke scent by liberally mixing and matching any of their fragrances. This concept was very new to me and I was quite intrigued by it. So before I left, Celine gave me a crash course in Fragrance Combining.

I must admit, I have stumbled onto two solid winners:

Blue Agava and Cacao layered with Rose Water and Vanilla

and

English Pear and Freesia layered with Wild Bluebell.

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

My collection is growing!

I absolutely loved these combinations, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Wild Bluebell fragrance at my next visit.

For a complimentary hand and arm massage and the aid of a professional Fragrance stylist to walk you through the art of fragrance combining, visit the Jo Malone boutique on Rue Saint Honoré.

326 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris 01 47 03 01 66

Ooh la la! The 7 best streets to shop in Paris

As the foremost fashion capital of the globe, the Parisian shopping experience offers everything from luxe designer labels to sprawling chainstores. If you’re searching for authentic French labels, or eccentric designer stores, you can take your pick of those too.

Below is the definitive list of where to part with those hard-earned euros:

1.      Rue de Rivoli

Why Go:

From boutique bargains to high-end marques, Rue de Rivoli delivers a great shopping experience. The street’s store directory reads like a who’s who of international brands, including Zara, H&M, Gap and Mango to name a few. There’s a huge BHV department store opposite the city’s Hotel de Ville, and numerous must-see landmarks are located just off this major street, including Museé du Louvre and the Tuilleries Garden.

The old signage of the renowned La Samarataine store can still be seen, paying homage to the Paris of yesteryear.

The dessert mecca, House of Angelina, can also be found on this street – boasting what may be Paris’ best hot chocolate.

What you should know:

There are several tourist shops around the area near the Louvre, selling the usual trinkets and T-shirts, which can become very busy on the weekends.

There is a shortage of dining choices on Rue de Rivoli itself but restaurants and cafés can be found in the close vicinity.

Best Shopping Paris Rivoli

2.      Boulevard Haussmann

Why Go:

For the Galeries Lafayette of course! The upmarket department store located on Boulevard Hausmann first opened its doors in 1895, and has since become a Parisian institute.

The store comprises 10 floors, and boasts a beautiful glass dome and a central staircase in stunning Art Noveau design.  Throngs of locals and tourists alike descend on the store for Paris’ bi-annual sales (les soldes), where goods are marked up to 70% off.

What you should know:

In December, the Galeries Lafayette Christmas decorations become a must-see attraction, with the highlight being the giant Christmas tree, located under the glass and steel dome.

Best Shopping Paris Hausmann

3.      Rue St Honoré

Why Go:

Rue St Honoré with its sophisticated extension, Rue Faubourg St Honoré, is one of the most upmarket shopping streets of Paris. Dedicated almost exclusively to luxury fashion design houses, from the likes of Hermes, Lanvin, Gucci, YSL and Michael Kors; it promises an immense concentration of ‘chic’ along its narrow passages. Just a few steps away is the famous square of Place Vendome with yet more of the top names in the fashion industry. For the über -trendy, there’s Colette; a lifestyle concept store which sells everything from clothing to gadgets. If you’re still not convinced on just how posh this street actually is, it’s worth noting that the home of the French president, the Élysée Palace, can also be found on Rue Faubourg St Honoré.

What you should know:

Watch out for well-dressed thieves in this area! There have been numerous incidents where well-heeled tourists, oozing the scent of money, have been robbed of their bags, cameras, or credit cards on this strip.

Best Shopping Paris saint honore

4.      Avenue Montaigne

Why go:

The only street to rival Rue Faubourg St Honoré in terms of prominence, luxury and prestige; the Grande Dame of Parisian streets is the Avenue Montaigne. Once upon a time it was called the ‘Widows Lane’ as French widows would gather there in mourning. As I stroll along the quiet, understated street, I too, find myself mourning; my card’s spending limit, that is!

From deluxe fashion labels to celebrated jewelers, the regal list includes the likes of Chanel, Valentino, Gucci, Christian Lacroix, Fendi, Harry Winston and Bulgari.

The majestic Plaza Athénée hotel is also located on this street, adding to the glitz and glamour already found in spades.

Best Shopping Paris Montaigne

What you should know:

The celebrity fly-trap of a restaurant, L’Avenue, is located on Avenue Montaigne. But be warned; some reviewers swear that the beautiful waitresses are a feast on the eyes whilst the food itself, leaves a lot to be desired.

5.       Avenue des ChampsÉlysées

 Why Go:

Given the unambiguous honor of being the world’s most beautiful street, the ChampsÉlysées is certainly one of the most famous. Marked at its beginning by the Obelisk of Luxor (Concorde), and lined throughout by bosquets of square-trimmed trees, the avenue concludes at the Arc de Triomphe. The City of Paris tried desperately to prevent the ‘banalisation’ of the street, by attempting to prevent global chain stores from setting up shop, but nowadays the likes of Zara, H&M, Gap and Benetton can be found neighboring designer labels such as Guerlain, Hugo Boss, Lancel and Cartier. The highlight of a shopping expedition on this famed street is a visit to the flagship Louis Vuitton store at 101 Avenue des ChampsÉlysées. The shop’s window décor, which changes regularly, is often a treat to view in itself. The long line of people waiting for a chance to spend hundreds of euros; is another.

 What you should know:

The street is exceptionally crowded, regardless of the season. The cafés along the center of the ChampsÉlysées are a tourist trap, offering humdrum cuisine at exorbitant prices.

Best Shopping Paris Champs Elysées

 6.      Boulevard Saint Michel

 Why Go:

Unlike the high-end shopping streets of Paris, the Latin Quarter’s Boulevard St Michel is a typical neighborhood with a laid-back vibe. Shop the likes of Benetton, Sinéquanone, and NafNaf, together with relatively affordable French chain stores such as Camaïeu, Jules and Etam. The street is also renowned for its bookshops – one of the largest being Gilbert Joseph, and shoppers can enjoy a break from their arduous spending in the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg, a stone’s throw away.  With La Sorbonne university located close by, the area is awash with cafés and bars catering to the young and hip.

What you should know:

Boulevard St Michel connects easily with other famous streets of the Latin Quarter, including Boulevard Saint-Germain (which offers additional shopping choices) and Rue Soufflot which leads to the Pantheon.

Best Shopping Paris Saint Michel

 7.      Rue de Rennes

Why Go:

One of Paris’ longest shopping streets; Rue de Rennes is certainly made for pavement pounding, bags in hand – Pretty Woman style.

Again, the charm of Parisian shopping is that big name designers often rub shoulders with large international chain stores; and Rue de Rennes is no exception. Add to the mix a scattering of quirky boutiques, and you have a shopper’s paradise. Located just on the other side of Jardin du Luxembourg from Boulevard St Michel, the street’s beacon is the Montparnasse tower (Paris’ tallest building).

What you should know:

The city’s largest FNAC (selling all things electronic and literary) can be found on Rue de Rennes.

Take care of crossing the street though, as its sheer width and double-lane traffic in both directions can pose a hazard.

Best Shopping Paris Rennes

This post was featured in A Luxury Travel Blog on 17 August 2013.