Let’s address that most delicate of dilemmas: What do women want?
Let’s keep it light, shall we? Everyone has enough pressure trying to meet a myriad of expectations so we’ll save the psychological/philosophical stuff for next year. (And if most men can avoid the question, they’ll probably save it for never.)
I thought, what better source for such information in the cadeau category, than a French man. I turned to Fred who has a blog I can’t resist: Easy Fashion Paris. Fred is a photographer and he seems to spend an inordinate amount of time out and about on the streets of Paris, in fact he usually tells us on precisely which street he finds his subjects and sometimes tells us from head to toe what they’re wearing.
This is why I’m so attracted to Fred’s work: It’s frank, clean, honest, up-close and personal. You look at his photographs and it isn’t all about the clothes, it’s all about the woman (and sometimes the man). He captures something I can’t really explain, but one feels he has given us a glimpse of the individual. Fred does not snap your every day fashion photos. You’ll see.
I stole the picture above from his blog. When he wrote this piece he neglected to include any of his own work. I thought that was a shame.
These are the questions I asked him, assuming he knows quite a bit about women:
1.) What are some of the best gifts to give?
2.) What are the worst?
This is what he said:
First, a little free advice: Do not wait until the last minute the way I always do.
However, if you do these are some of my favorite things you can find au dernier moment:
Gloves, gloves, gloves … So seeexy on women’s hands ! This is French stuff !
My choice : Maison Fabre (since 1924).
Les Gants du Palais
128-129 Galerie de Valois
Jardin du Palais Royal – Paris 1°
Shiseido-Serge Lutens, 27 different « Flacons de Table ».
I love “Encens et Lavande”. What about you?
Bonus : The shop is really amazing to see.
142, Galerie de Valois – Paris 1°
Tea for Two
But, not just any tea. Never! Let’s try my favorite for a cadeau : “Prince Wladimir” from Kusmi.
I like the beautiful box. I keep them all. It’s Chinese tea with citrus fruits, vanilla and spices. It’s great for winter. But if you don’t like flavoured tea, there are plenty of other choices.
Grande Epicerie de Paris. (A wonderful experience in itself.)
Forget about macaroons for a minute.
These chocolates by Ladurée are just great.
Right size, right taste, just right.
Burgundy red wine (We are in France aren’t we!?)
If she likes French wine, let’s try the amazing Volnay or Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru.
These are what they call “feminine wines” because they are supposed to be softer.
But I tell you what . . . I could sell my blog for 12 … hum 24 bottles of each ! (Give her a case.)
If you prefer white wine and chardonnay, choose a Meursault. Sooo goood !
I look around the Champs-Elysées for the best.
Search for white lilies or white roses. Don’t forget about what we call :
“Le langage des fleurs” to deliver your message if you have one (hopefully you have one. . .)
Now, let’s discuss a slightly more complicated subject: What not to offer a woman.
This is what I suggest you avoid:
A watch if she is always late; otherwise choose a very expensive one !
A cookbook even if she doesn’t know how to boil an egg. It could be an invitation to war.
The same ring you offered your former girlfriend as Nicolas Sarkozy did — really first class, ouuuuuuhhhh!!
(Ed. Note: The President of France gave the same ring — pictured above to his former wife and his current wife.)
And please, please on your way home, if you stop to buy cheese, make sure it’s from le fromager and your baguette de tradition (bien cuite) from le boulanger, never buy these French perfections at le supermarche.
Joyeux Noël !
Next Week on the Agenda:
Lundi: Last Minute Shopping
Mardi: Last, Last Minute Shopping
Mercredi: A Very Special Shared Cadeau from One of My Best Friends (who does not have a blog, but actually writes books, can you believe it !?)
Vendredi: Merry Christmas ! — You will be waaaay too busy to check in with moi I’m sure.
Samedi: A suggestion from our Dear Cherie
Dimanche: Who Knows? Certainly Pas Moi.