Waking up in Paris everyday for me feels like a gift in itself. It seems my favorite ones I have received here over the years are intangible, as many of the best gifts in life are. Friendship, wisdom, and this beautiful city itself are truly what come to mind. But now and then, a little token of those experiences and people here are lovely little reminders of them.

When it comes to gifting, at least one rule is universal, it is the thought that counts the most. That being said, in France there are certain customs that have come about as guidelines for gifting. The occasion for which arises often here, most of all with the upcoming holidays as the season’s gatherings begin filling the calendar. To gift in good taste, consider the art of French gifting, the golden rules of which I thought I’d share with you here…

Paris Rendez-vous

• Give a good quality gift, or none at all.

• Presentation is just as important.

• Be thoughtful and write a hand written note to accompany your present.

• Don’t be too concerned with price. It is the quality and thought that count, not the cost.

• If you don’t know someone well, play it safe with some fine chocolates, champagne, or flowers to show gratitude.

• Always bring something for a host or hostess of events. For dinner parties, avoid wine unless you know them very well as they usually prefer to choose themselves.

• If gifting flowers, be sure to gift them in odd numbers, except for 7, 11, and 13 which some consider bad luck. Also avoid white flowers as they are for weddings, chrysanthemums and lilies which are reserved for funerals, and red carnations. All others fit perfectly into proper French etiquette.

• Be personal. If you know someone well, don’t be afraid to gift them books or music you think they will enjoy.

Of course, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for the women in your life, the gift of beauty is always acceptable, so why not share with her your favorite Lancôme products this season?

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