French Language Blog

Shopping at Montmartre Posted by on Jun 1, 2013 in Culture, Vocabulary

Today, you are graciously invited to join une petite dame sympathique (a little friendly lady) to go on an exciting shopping spree. Where at?

Montmartre, Paris’s most picturesque (and therefore “touristy”) neighborhood!

Bonjour, today we’ll join Ines de la Fressange (could be her real name) for a little shopping at Montmartre, Paris’s most artistic neighborhood.

The place tends to be a bit “touristy”, which may explain why Parisians do not often go there.

Nevertheless, it is très ravissant (very beautiful), as Ines points out, who tells her viewers that they are “too lucky to know her” (“trop de chance de la connaître.“)

First, Ines drops by the store “Belle de Jour“, which literally means “Beauty of the Day”, or “Beautiful during the Day.”

Now, you’re probably wondering: “And how about during the night?”

“As you know”, Ines says (well, I for one didn’t), “Roger Vivier designed les souliers (the shoes) of Catherine Deneuve in “Belle de Jour.

This was a movie adaptation of a French novel by “Lost Generation” filmmaker Louis Buñuel.

In any case, the Montmartre store by the same name offers parfums (perfumes), savons (soaps), vaporisateurs (sprays), and bottles that come in all sizes and shapes.

Next, Ines goes down rue des Abbesses, where she gets into a store that offers a virtual trip to South America.

Objects that typically come from Guatemala, Peru, and Mexico can be bought there at a pretty good price.

The French lady seems to have a soft spot for les petits squelettes (little skeletons.)

According to her, this store is the only place in Paris where one can buy la poupée tracas (worry dolls)… (Did you understand what it is for?)

Finally, Ines, who is used to take people to little charming places, says that “Emmanuelle Zysman” is un endroit infernal (“one hell of a place.”)

How so?

The “infernal ambiance” is reflected in boucles d’oreilles (earrings) made of coral and gold. Some of them look like une pluie colorée (colored raindrops), while others can be mistaken for real bonbons (candies.)

L’enfer (Hell) for Ines, it seems, is to look at all these bijouxwithout being able to put her hands on them all.

But then again, isn’t temperance towards worldly life a paradisiaque (heavenly) virtue?

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  1. Cathy:

    What a wonderful way to practice our French and follow a tour at the same time.
    It was fun and I learned a word or two!