Qui se ressemble, s’assemble

I’ve discovered a great shopping street near the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th Arrondissement – rue Saint-Sulpice, which then becomes Place Saint-Sulpice next to the church of the same name. Here are some of my favorite shops starting at rue de Tournon and ending at rue Bonaparte.

J.C. Martinez, 21 rue St-Sulpice, sells framed prints from 16th to 19th century books. I really love the hot air balloons over Paris print that I bought for my husband’s anniversary present last year. They have many old prints of Paris as well as just about every other subject you could want to frame. Some of their stock is available on-line and they ship world-wide.

Marie Mercié, 23 rue St-Sulpice, is where you’d go for a knock-out hat. Some of her creations are eminently wearable; others are more fanciful. Her clients include Bernadette Chirac, Kristin Scott Thomas, Mila Jojovich, and people who wear crowns when not wearing hats.

Substitute the word “polo” for Curling, 28 rue St-Sulpice, and you’ve got the look. This is a reasonably priced sports-wear line for men and women.

At Comptoir de Famille, 34 rue St-Sulpice, you can buy everything you might need to recreate French life from your granny’s day. My daughter told me that I could “out-French the French” if I shopped here. There are several branches of this store, but this one is particularly large. The merchandise is laid out in room-like vignettes to inspire dreams of yesteryear.

The Théa Boutique, 40 rue St-Sulpice, is full of chic, soft knits in sophisticated color combinations. I lost my heart to the navy and cream dress and jacket in the window. Since I’m a little taller than the average French woman, I thought it hit my leg a little above where I am comfortable wearing a skirt. But for that, I would have left with full shopping bags.

The Annick Goutal Institute: Le Boudoir, 12 Place St-Sulpice, is not just home to all their wonderful fragrances (my favorite is Gardénia Passion), but it’s also a gorgeous day spa with beauty treatments named after French Queens and royal mistresses.

Today’s expression, qui se ressemble, s’assemble (key suh raysahmbluh, sassahmbluh) literally means “those who resemble one another, assemble.”  We’d say, “birds of a feather flock together.” There are plenty of other great boutiques on St-Sulpice, and several of the stores I’ve mentioned here have branches elsewhere also. The combination of so many great stores in a compact couple of blocks is pretty hard to beat, however. And being able to say, “Oh this? I got it in Paris” never gets old.

Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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