Finding a French gift can be a real nightmare when you don’t know where to look, particularly if you are not familiar with French culture and traditions. France is renowned for its exquisite cuisine, wine, fashion, and art, which offer a plethora of gift options. However, deciding on the perfect gift requires a deep understanding of the recipient’s tastes and preferences, as well as the occasion.
Additionally, with so many gift options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Factors such as price, authenticity, and uniqueness must be taken into account when selecting a French gift. Moreover, if you are not a French speaker, navigating French websites and communication in the stores can be an added difficulty. Despite these challenges, finding the perfect French gift can be incredibly rewarding, and the effort put into finding the perfect gift will be greatly appreciated by the recipient.
We decided to gather for you 30 French specialties, objects, and clothes that will surely delight all fans of the hexagon. So relax, and discover our original selection.
In this list of French gift ideas, you will find gift ideas for all ages, all tastes, and all budgets.
Table of Contents
Let’s start this selection of gifts for francophiles!
10 Typical Objects for an Original French Gift
For centuries, France has been a country of flourishing craftsmanship known for its traditions and unique know-how in a variety of sectors. Here are 10 original objects as French gift ideas that will be remembered for years to come.
- A set of Obut Petanque Balls
Budget from $50 (for 3 balls)
One of my favorite French gift ideas from this list. If you want to introduce someone to the most Provençal of French games, why not give them a set of Obut petanque balls. Manufactured in the brand’s factory in the Loire (French county) since 1955, Obut offers the only 100% stainless steel pétanque balls on the market. A true product of French tradition and know-how, this gift could well spark a passion for pétanque in the lucky owner of this gift.
- An Authentic Marseille Soap from the Fer à Cheval Soap Factory
Budget from $15
Since the 18th century, the city of Marseille has been known as the epicenter of soap in France with a very specific manufacturing process based on fatty acids such as olive oil. Established since 1856 in Marseille, the Fer à Cheval soap factory perpetuates the tradition by producing soaps made in cauldrons by master soap makers. So if you are looking for a typical and original French gift, you know where to find it.
- Cosmetics of the Brand L’Occitane En Provence
Budget from $10
If you’re looking for natural and local products for a cosmetics fan, a box from L’Occitane En Provence may be the perfect French gift. Since 1976, the Provençal company has been producing cosmetic products made from local plants: lavender, verbena, and olive oil… With varied scents and unparalleled know-how, buying L’Occitane products also means trusting a brand that is committed to supporting local producers, respecting biodiversity, and reducing waste.
- Duralex Dishware
Budget from $15
To celebrate the traditions of French gastronomy and the art of the table, why not put your trust in the number one manufacturer of glassware in France. Since 1945, Duralex has been producing tempered glassware in its Loiret (French county) factory from 100% French materials. Whether you are looking for tableware, cocktail glasses, beer glasses, or any other container (cup, mug, bowl, salad bowl), Duralex guarantees glass products of the highest quality and durability.
- A Personalized Opinel Knife
Budget from $15
If you’re looking for a French gift for a true backpacker, a personalized Opinel knife is sure to be a hit. For over 130 years, the Opinel brand has been producing traditional pocket knives from its facility in Chambéry, Savoie. The fruit of Joseph Opinel’s research, who succeeded in combining family know-how and machinery, the Opinel has become a true icon of world design. Today, Opinel offers knives for all tastes and uses. The classic model is the number 8 of Opinel. It is the most-sold model by the French brand.
- A Hammock from Filt 1860
Budget from $18
Specializing in the design of nets and cords, Filt 1860 has been marketing high-quality products for over 150 years, in keeping with the traditions of Normandy where the company originated. For 50 years, the company has been designing hammocks (as well as shopping bags, and baby carriers) in 100% French recycled polyester from its factory in Mondeville, Normandy. If you are looking for a French gift to relax or for a camping enthusiast, this could be the one.
- A Le Creuset Bakeware
Budget from $85 (small set)
Le Creuset, a French company that designs kitchen utensils, is best known for its enameled cast iron casseroles. Founded by three cast-iron specialists in Hauts-de-France (French county) in 1925, Le Creuset has established itself in the 21st century as the world leader in enameled cast-iron cookware. So, if you are looking to delight a cooking enthusiast, a casserole, sauté pan, grill, woke, or dish 100% made in France is without a doubt the ideal French gift. For a wine enthusiast, (and for a small budget) the original Le Creuset Wine Cooler allows you to cool a good bottle of wine in only twenty minutes!
- Sophie la Petite Giraffe
Budget from $15
The most famous of French children’s toys, Sophie the Little Giraffe has been a fixture in the baby carriages of many babies around the world from generation to generation. Born in Paris in 1961, the soft giraffe with its recognizable sound has sold over 70 million copies worldwide. If you are looking for a French gift for new parents or for the latest addition to your family, trust the French know-how like many parents before you.
- A Set of Champagne Flutes Chef & Sommelier
Budget from $23
Because France is inseparable from its fine spirits, a box of champagne flutes is the perfect gift, both refined and useful. And in this field, few companies can compete with the know-how of Chef & Sommelier. Based in Arques in the Pas-de-Calais, the producer is specialized in Kwarx stemmed glasses, a material that fully reveals the flavors of spirits, and has the label Origine France Garantie.
- A French-Belgian Comic Book
Budget from $20
If you are looking for a French gift idea for a lover of arts and letters, giving a French-Belgian comic book can be a good way to discover one of the French-speaking media that has been best exported in the world. Whether you’re a history buff, a science fiction fan, a fantasy fan, or a comedy fan, French comics come in all styles and for all tastes. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend you take a look at two classics of the genre: the Adventures of Tintin and Asterix.
10 French Gift Ideas for Clothing Made in France
Because France is also known for its high fashion sense and the quality of its designers, discover 10 French gift ideas for clothing produced in France for all genders and all budgets.
- An Organic Hopaal T-shirt
Budget from $45
Hopaal is a brand from Biarritz that produces designer clothes made in France from recycled materials or local natural fibers, dyed with natural mineral pigments. If you want to support a brand that is committed to quality over price, and that supports local trade through handmade clothes from their factory in the Loire (French county), giving a Hopaal item of clothing can be the perfect French gift.
- An Organic Picture Sweater
Budget from $85
If you’re looking for a French gift for a winter sports enthusiast, check out Picture Clothing. Founded in 2008 near Clermont-Ferrand, the organic skiwear brand promotes responsible purchasing and quality values by being totally transparent about the creation process of its products. For your information, the clothes are not “made in France”. To make things better, Picture is one of the most popular snow clothing brands in the world, sponsoring some of the best riders in the discipline and wearing French colors loud and clear. In short, it’s the French Patagonia. Special mention to their men’s underwear that are super comfy!
- An Underwear from Le Slip Français
Budget from $35
Founded in 2012 by Parisian entrepreneur Guillaume Gibault, Le Slip Français has quickly become a phenomenon in the lingerie industry thanks to its assertive French production and unique, offbeat communication. Working with producers from the four corners of France, the brand has become a hit in France and internationally. So if you are looking for an original French gift that will surely make a loved one smile, don’t hesitate to take a look at the brand’s online store.
- A Breton Striped Shirt from Armor Lux
Budget from $40
Originally a French sailor’s uniform, the marinière was for a long time a true emblem of the French Navy before becoming one of the most recognizable French fashion accessories. So if you want to please a Francophile, what could be more typical for a French gift than an Armor Lux sailor jacket, the most Breton of clothing brands. Founded in 1993 in Quimper, the brand keeps marine traditions alive by designing made-in-France sailboats made from noble materials.
- An Original Beret from Le Béret Français
Budget from $26
After the sailor’s coat, why not complete the perfect Frenchman’s outfit with a beret from the brand Le Béret Français. From its premises in Bayonne, in the heart of the French Basque Country, the company markets handmade berets in the purest Basque tradition thanks to craftsmen with timeless know-how. Whether as a souvenir or to be worn every day, the beret is a gift that is sure to delight all French enthusiasts.
- A Headband from Hermanitas
Budget from $32
A young company from Lyon, the Hermanitas brand produces ethical fashion accessories made 100% in the Lyon region. Hermanitas offers headbands and scarves made from quality wool and fabrics entirely knitted and sewn on-site by experienced artisans. If you are looking to delight a woman who wears headbands, scarves, or other scrunchies all the time, you know where to go!
- Veja Shoes
Budget from $140
Founded by two French partners in Paris in 2004, the Veja footwear brand is one of the most successful French brands exported internationally. It markets environmentally friendly shoes made from recycled rubber and polyester. One of the specificities of the brand is that it does not advertise. All of its revenues are allocated to production in order to design increasingly durable and resistant products. If you want to delight a fashion and sneaker lover, look no further, a pair of Veja is the perfect French gift. Important information, the shoes are made in Brazil.
- A Belt Made of Recycled Tires from La Vie est Belt
Budget from $39
Founded in Roubaix, La Vie est Belt is an eco-responsible company designing original belts made from bicycle tires, Michelin car tires, or fire hoses, which are entirely manufactured in solidarity workshops in the north of France. The brand’s primary goal is to reduce the pollution and carbon impact of the fashion industry by transforming waste into sustainable accessories.
- A Jersey of the French Soccer Team
Budget from $90
With the good results of the two last World Cups, it is more than ever a time to support the French team, by wearing the French colors loud and clear. In its emblematic navy blue, the jersey of the French team will make the happiness of every Francophile passionate about soccer. If the person you want to give this gift is a fan of soccer, don’t hesitate to have it flocked with the effigy of one of the stars of the French soccer team like Kylian Mbappe, or the winner of the Ballon d’Or 2022, Karim Benzema. It is obvious but this jersey is not made in France.
- 100% Recycled Glasses from 7plis
Budget from $480 (sunglasses)
Launched in 2016 by a Nancy-based optician with a passion for skateboarding, 7 plis offers recycled glasses and watches made from the 7 layers (7-ply in English) that make up a skateboard. Entirely designed and produced in France, the brand’s products are diverse and varied, ranging from glasses to watches, rings, knives, pendants, and pens… If you want to offer an original and affordable French gift, you’ll probably find your happiness at 7plis.
10 Must-Have French Dishes to Offer
World-renowned for its gastronomy and art of eating, France is full of all kinds of culinary specialties. We have compiled for you 10 French gift ideas with French delicacies, sweet and savory, solid and liquid, to please all tastes.
- Calissons of Aix du Roy René
Budget from $30
Born in 1454 in France on the occasion of the marriage of King René and Queen Jeanne, the calisson d’Aix has become a true symbol of Provence. Made with a clever blend of Mediterranean almonds, Cavaillon melon, Apt confit, ostia, and royal ice, the calisson d’Aix is a timeless confection that has stood the test of time. If you are looking for a French product capable of satisfying a sweet tooth, let yourself be tempted by the calissons of Roy René.
- Lentils from Le Puy
Budget from $7
A specialty of the Puy-en-Velay region, the green lentils of Puy are a French delicacy that has been cultivated since the 17th century in the volcanic soils of the area. Known as the caviar of the poor in the past, Puy Sabarot lentils are firmer than traditional lentils but just as rich in fiber. Famous all over the world, they can be a good culinary discovery for someone who appreciates French cuisine.
- La Belle-Iloise Canned Goods
Budget from $6
If you wish to import typical products from France without the risk of them arriving in bad condition, La Belle-Iloise cannery is renowned for its quality preserves that manage to preserve the quality and taste of typical products. With a large choice of fish (mackerel, tuna, sardine) declined in different dishes (salad, soup, chili, sandwich), La Belle-Iloise allows you to share the unique taste of French preparations wherever you are.
- A Good Bottle of Wine or Champagne
Budget from $15 (bought in France)
This list would not be complete without mentioning the two most consumed French alcohols in the world: wine and champagne. Again, you can find something for every taste. Red wines, such as Bordeaux, go perfectly with meats and cheese. Rosé, such as Côtes de Provence, is fruitier and is usually drunk as an aperitif. White wine, such as Chardonnay, for example, can be drunk as an aperitif or with fish or dessert. Finally, champagne, sparkling and generally more expensive, is most often drunk on special occasions.
- A Box of Macaroons
Budget from $27 (bought in France)
Renowned for its high gastronomy, France is also the land of pastries par excellence. Among all the cookies and cakes that can be found, one is particularly appreciated by foreigners: macaroons. This small cookie derived from meringue, composed of two layers of almond cookies and ganache, is one of the most famous confectionery in the world. So, just like calissons, if you are looking for a gift for a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with a box of macaroons from Leopold Macaron or the famous Ladurée macarons.
- Artisanal Saucissons from Savoie
Budget from $10 (bought in France)
Famous for winter sports and high-calorie dishes, the French Alps are full of all kinds of specialties. Among these, the Savoy sausage (saucissons de Savoie) is a must-have as an aperitif. Made from pork meat of controlled origin, Savoy sausages come in many varieties (hazelnut, wild boar, genepi, beaufort, chanterelle…) but always in the respect of the Savoyard traditions. Easy to transport and store, the Savoy sausage is the perfect French gift for lovers of good food and good times with friends for a French apéro.
- Artisanal Foie Gras
Budget from $45 (bought in France)
During the Christmas season, many French people will rush to eat foie gras. This food is extremely controversial in France (and in the world) because of the breeding of geese. However, the French are still the biggest consumers of this product. If you want to offer someone the experience of an authentic French meal, you owe it to yourself to opt for an artisanal (and not an industrial one) foie gras such as Lecalier foie gras. Made from ducks from small farms in the southwest, this artisanal foie gras is handmade by artisan butchers, without coloring or preservatives.
- Génépi Liqueur from des Pères Chartreux
Budget from $40 (bought in France)
In addition to its wines and champagne, France has its share of unique spirits. Among them, there is the génépi, a strong alcohol (40°) coming from the aromatic plants of the same name from the Alps, and more particularly from the Savoie region in France and the Aosta Valley in Italy. With a very flowery and sweet taste, the génépi des Pères Chartreux is an original French gift to make someone discover typical alcohol that he has surely never tasted. I recommend the génépi Meunier as well. Otherwise, you should offer French alcohols such as the liqueur La Chartreuse or the Pastis from Marseille.
- Dijon Mustard from Reine de Dijon
Budget from $4 (bought in France)
Primarily known for its spirits, Burgundy is also the birthplace of one of the most famous sauces in the world: Dijon mustard. Dating back to the 14th century and King Philippe VI, the hot sauce has always followed a simple recipe based on mustard seeds, vinegar, citric acid, salt, and water. Since 1840, the company Reine de Dijon has been producing authentic mustard based on local products. If you want to please a meat lover, an authentic Dijon mustard is a French gift idea not to be underestimated.
- Authentic Herbs of Provence from Le Cabri d’Or
Budget from $4 (bought in France)
Traditionally used in the Mediterranean region to season all kinds of foods since the dawn of time, herbes de provence only received this name in the 1960s. Behind this generic term, we find a tasty mix of herbs growing in the South of France: thyme, rosemary, basil, chervil, tarragon, oregano, savory… So, if you are looking for a French gift for a cooking enthusiast, the fine herbs of Provence from Le Cabri d’Or, cultivated at the foot of the Sainte Victoire Mountain, will flavor most meats.
We hope to have some French gift ideas for your Francophile relative. Do you think we missed a good gift idea related to France? Don’t hesitate to share it with us in the comments of this article!
@Savonnerie Fer à Cheval
Translated into English by Sacha