The legendary Rue d'Alessia alone lands this neighborhood on the Paris shopping radar. If you're willing to dig a little, a thrilling afternoon can be had seeking out the many bargains here—from steeply discounted designer clothes, shoes, and accessories to housewares and kids' togs. Just roll up your sleeves and dive in.
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La Jolie Garde-Robe15 rue Commines -01-42-72-13-90
Codina extracts its fresh organic oils using the oldest press in Paris. The more than 80 varieties—many exotic—include argan to combat wrinkles, wheat germ and apricot for supple skin, borage and cassis for a detoxified glow, and cherry seed for regeneration. Parisian sylphs adore their exclusive bar shampoos, shea-butter-infused creams, massage oils, and heavenly soaps. There are also dozens of the purest French-extracted essential oils for much less than you'll pay stateside.
La Jolie Garde-Robe
Could that minutely pleated, full-length black organdy gown prominently displayed front and center really be a genuine, circa 1955 Madame Grès couture gown? Yes! And a steal at $2,000. There's plenty more to tempt you at this pretty boutique, specializing in ready-to-wear and designer styles from the '30s to the '80s. While the collection isn't huge, it's chosen with a connoisseur's eye.
This fascinating 19th-century taxidermist has long been a stop for curiosity seekers. A 2008 fire destroyed what was left of the original shop, but it has been lavishly restored and remains a cabinet of curiosities par excellence. Create your own box of butterflies or metallic beetles from scores of bug-filled drawers or just enjoy the menagerie that includes stuffed zebras, monkeys, lions, bears, and more. Also in stock: collectible shells, corals, and crustaceans, plus a generous library of books and posters that once graced every French schoolroom. There is a new line of cool wallpaper murals, too.
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