It’s December already and my September sabbatical in France is a fond memory now. While we explored, I took time to seek out a few well-known French stationers. Of all the grown-up luxuries Paris has to offer, nothing may be more indulgent in the digital age than bespoke stationery from one of the city’s venerable houses of fine paper goods. The art of the beautifully engraved paper is alive and well at a handful of select addresses where traditional craftsmanship and French flair produce timeless paper goods that make a real statement in the modern world.

My first stop: Cassegrain on Rue Saint Honoré near Place de la Madeleine. But when I got there, I found jaunty and elegant (natch!) signs in French and English saying they’d moved to Boulevard Haussmann.

Originally an engraver that started in 1919, Cassegrain offers beautiful custom stationery, most often in traditional patterns, and business cards engraved to order. Several other items for the desk, many suitable for gifts, are for sale as well. There are fancy pencils and pens, leather wallets and small desktop accessories. I found one-of-a-kind greeting cards with mini watercolor paintings, pressed flowers and embossed designs. There were stacks of personalized notecards and giant books of wedding invitation designs. It was hard to not spent too many Euros in there.

Outside, the shop was just as impressive. Green marble, gold inlays and carved wood make it stand out on a busy Parisian corner in the 8th arrondissement. This new Cassegrain location used to be the famous Vendel Shakespeare, a fine stationer established in the 1800s.

I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside but here’s a little video I found. From Cassegrain I found my way to Benneton. More on that soon in part deux.

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