Sunday, December 20, 2009

What To Offer Une Femme (or Not): A Frenchman Explains

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:

                                                            By Fred 

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.

Ladurée shops.

 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.

 OK ?

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 !?)

Jeudi: Surprise

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.


The Daily Connoisseur said...

Wow- Fred really does know what women want- and don't want- hilarious!

Bonjour Madame said...

I love these ideas. He's a good gift giver obviously! I like the glove idea and really appreciate the location of this shop being posted. I'm making note of it to stop by next time.

BonjourRomance said...

Oh Fred you do know whaat women want. The Sarkozy ring tidbit was classic, and beautifully made gloves do make a fabulous gift.
Great job once again Tish!

BigLittleWolf said...

Gloves are wonderful. (I have them in 4 colors, love beautiful gloves.) And so many other little trouvailles here. Delightful.

Jacqueline said...

Fred can buy me a present anyday. He's very good at it !!!! XXXX

Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

Again, Tish, fun post from one of your many fun friends, Bravo.

Lorrie said...

Great advice from Fred! I'll have to pass it on to my husband. I really like those gloves.

Rispa Frances said...

Ah, Fred is such a wonderful lady's man!! Thanks for the link to his blog.

Fred de Easy Fashion said...

Wouhhhh .....
All these charming girls talking about me !
I'm so excited !
Ah ah ah !
Thanks for all !


Easy Fashion Paris

Dedene said...

Fred really knows what he's talking about! I wish he was my boyfriend.

I can't believe that Sarko gave the same ring to Cecilia and Carla!

Joyeux Noël!

Marieanne said...

Magnificent! Will be sending tea to the ladies on my list. Thank you!

Lily Lemontree said...

Now this French gentleman knows the ladies! What wonderful suggestions!
Absolutely love the gloves!

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