Works like a charm….
In her book on Parisienne chic, Inès de la Fressange notes the Parisienne’s passion for good-luck charm bracelets, and who am I to argue with Inès? I actually noticed this habit when I first moved to Paris ten years ago, when every other Mom I saw at the café across the street from the girls’ school had her wrist tied up in a collection of multi-coloured strings. It immediately went on my ‘I want’ list and has stayed there every year since then. After all, a girl can never have too much good luck.
Of course, the penultimate parisien charm bracelet is a set of Dinh Van handcuffs (600€), which I absolutely adore for the slightly twisted message they send out with absolute simplicity. And it is one of the few bracelets I wouldn’t mind seeing being worn by a man.
Since my charm bracelets are usually gifts from my charming girls, the budget is considerably more modest. I have received Brazilian friendship bracelets that they knotted themselves from a selection of embroidery threads (10€) bought at La Droguerie’s stand at Le Bon Marché. As they’ve gotten older, they started giving me engraved charm bracelets (24€) from Mitabaya. Personalized with their names or little sweet nothings, and in a variety of shapes and materials, I wear these bracelets daily, even to the most formal of occasions. Not only do I love wearing these bracelets, but I love coming up with thoughtful or particularly personal messages and giving them as gifts to friends and mentors.
These charms are all lovely and I’d be happy to wear any one of them for any occasion, but we all have more traditional people on our gift list. People who may turn their nose up at a simple charm on a string. For those giftees La Perle de Lune has a an entire collection of gold charms on gold chains (245€) that are accompanied by a series of candy toned jewels you simply want to devour.
Apriati, means gift in Greek and the jeweler on the rue du Four makes some exquisitely elegant pieces (60€) with simple charms that a delight to give. The artist works with hammered gold and had more intricate pieces that are built on several string, include diamonds and are even built up into cuff. If you visit the shop, everything is displayed in glass encased, pop out drawers you can open and explore, like a kid in a (very expensive) candy shop, making the shopping almost as much fun as the gift giving.