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Quoi de neuf - French shopping in January 2020

New products, designs and ideas from around France. This month: comfort-chic, tipples, hats and summery smells

Comfort comes with a dash of Lacroix

Get winter-ready in style with a new range of coats, tunics, scarves and dresses from Damart, the thermal clothing specialists who have collaborated with legendary designer Christian Lacroix.

Damart was founded in 1953 and is a leader in comfort-first Thermolactyl technology, and a go-to brand for those seeking to stave off the rigours of winter.

The Lacroix range lends couture chic in two motifs – pineapple and arabesque – “treated in a simple two-tone of red, probably my favourite colour, and black,” said the designer. “These are designs based on historical or ethnic documents, my two beloved sources of inspiration.”

Scarf, €59; cape €129; dress €129.     


Tipples for ale aficionados

Based in Bénifontaine, Pas-de-Calais, Brasserie Castelain is a family firm with a 90-year history of beer brewing.

Fiercely proud of local brewing heritage, they keep alive an ancient and rare infusion method which sees water, drawn directly from the ground beneath the brewery, added at precise temperatures.

As well as its iconic Ch’ti ale, which last year celebrated its 40th anniversary, and its Jade bio, an organic beer launched in 1986, it now produces a premium range called Castelain.

Now for true ale aficionados come two limited editions aged in Burgundy oak barrels for 15 months (€14.90, 50cl), as well as a Grand Cru characterised by its blend of superior quality hops. (€3.90, 33cl).


Hats off to Swish!

Swish is a new gift box concept that showcases desirable Made in France items from the worlds of fashion and beauty, as well as gourmet treats.

The twist is that in addition to the gift – such as a Bonnet Blanc bobble hat, Laboté cosmetics, La Box Homme men’s accessories or Maison Bremond 1830 épicerie treats – the recipient gets a gift card to spend in that brand’s shop or website.

Ideal for Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s/Father’s Day, the boxes are available at Fnac or you can order online. Prices range from €49 to €69.


Smells like summer

What could lift the spirits in winter – and boost the aromatic appeal of your home – more than the fresh fragrances of sunny Provence?

Maison Anne Pauline is a family business created just two years ago in Montélimar (Drôme Provençale) that offers a wide range of scented candles, diffusers and soaps.

The firm was launched by the Bahrs, a husband and wife team with over 23 years experience in cosmetics, and whose main inspiration is the nature and terroir around them.

All product design and manufacturing, including scent blending and packaging, is carried out in the Maison Anne Pauline workshops while candles are hand-cast using vegetable wax. Jars made of recycled glass, are mouth-blown.

Candles come in a wide range of scents and cost €25.90 (burn time 40 hours) while a 100ml diffuser costs €26.90.

Browse the full range at their Montélimar and Arles stores as well as on the company website.

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