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11 Place de les Etats-Unis, 16th arr.
A sumptuous chandelier half submerged in an aquarium, a three-meter crystal chair and a giant turning chandelier are just a few of the stars at this funhouse for luxe lovers designed by Philippe Starck. Displayed against plain concrete walls, the tableware collections seem to glitter all the more. Sure, they sell pitchers with 3,000-euro price tags, but their jewelry won’t break the bank. Besides, the retail items will seem like a bargain after you toured the gallery upstairs that pays homage to the company’s history. Once you’ve ogled the chairs designed for Indian maharajas, Czar Nicholas II’s candelabra and Josephine Baker’s stemware, you’ll be in the mood for the royal treatment, and you’ll get it at the chic restaurant that surrounds the stairway and that fab revolving light fixture.
MARCHÉ AUX PUCES DE LA PORTE DE VANVES
Avenue Georges Lafenestre (on bridge after Períphérique) and Avenue Marc Sangnier, 14th arr.
The St.-Ouen flea market (marché aux puce) may be the oldest and largest of its kind in Paris, but the one at Vanves, in the southwest beyond Montparnasse, is more selective and more manageable. Hop the No. 13 Métro train to Porte-de-Vanves, then follow the crowd. Among the more than 300 stands offering antiques, collectibles, bric-a-brac, jewelry and artwork, there may lurk some gems—after all, dealers themselves buy here—but chances are you’ll find attractive decorative items rather than treasures. The market is open weekends from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Avenue Marc Sangnier and all afternoon on Avenue Georges Lafenestre, but visit first thing in the morning, since some vendors close shop early.
34 Avenue Montaigne, 8th arr.
90 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, 8th arr.
Few things are more evocative than scent, and France long ago cornered the market. The two boutiques of this 104-year-old haute parfumerie, both on fashionable shopping streets a short stroll off the Champs Elysées, are classic spots for sniffing. Artisanally made—take that, Chanel No. 5—Caron’s 13 signature fragrances are dispensed from huge crystal containers into any bottle of your choice (of course, they sell those here too, as well as men’s scents and their famous finely ground face powder). The perfumes are unabashedly feminine, including a surefire choice for your honeymoon, N’Aimez que Moi ("Love Only Me"). And the gracious and gorgeous Old World atmosphere will have you swooning even without those heady scents wafting about.
64 Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arr.