My French Shopping

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Canada Border Agency officers always seem surprised when I say I don’t have any alcohol to declare, and they hardly believe me when I claim my backpack isn’t full of French food—yet it’s true. I don’t drink and I really wouldn’t know how to pick a nice bottle of wine for my friends (sorry, friends!) plus carrying glass bottles through airport security is a pain. And I don’t like to bring food back—I enjoy it while in France but my routine and taste buds change once in Canada.

But I still bring back a few things every time I visit my home country… especially cosmetics.

This time, I splurge on Nuxe products. This is a brand I love and while I can find it in Canada, their line of products is more expensive on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. I bought the Crème fraîche de beauté (ahem, three tubes of it), a cleanser and eye cream. And I got a bunch of samples to go with it, merci beaucoup.

I also bought two basics for my pharmacy: Biafine (a “gentle” medication to treat burns, wounds and irritations—works great on a sunburn for instance) and Arnica cream gel made from Arnica montana whole plant and roots to treat bruises and little booboos.

Adding to the basket a dermatological face soap and a cream for diaper rash a friend of my mum swears by. I’ll try it!

I also bought soap bars, savon de Marseille–olive oil based soap have been crafted since the Middle Ages in the South of France (seriously, I sound like I’m pitching the product for a US commercial!). They are cheap and smell great, plus they don’t leave my skin dry. I used to love liquid soap but I gave it up a few years ago because I found my skin didn’t like it so much.

What else? A few magnets I picked up at the “Deux euro” store—I have a lot of pictures on the fridge and I am always looking for fun magnets.

For our kitchen, I bought two tiny spice jars with their wooden spoon (I use herbes de provence and oregano a lot) and a nice little metal tray with vintage LU cookies and chocolate ads, if I ever feel nostalgic.

Do you know any of these products? Anything specific you like to bring back from “home” when you travel?

Mark "Helps" With Unpacking

Mark “Helps” With Unpacking

Nuxe Products

Nuxe Products

Pharmacy Basics

Pharmacy Basics

Soap Bars

Soap Bars

Face Soap and Cream

Face Soap and Cream

Small Tray with Vintage Ads

Small Tray with Vintage Ads

Spice Jars

Spice Jars

Magnets

Magnets

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

22 Comments

  1. Love that small tray and spice jars! For us, it is always food – hob nobs and wispas mainly and some brands of English cigarettes (though I am off to buy nicorette patches this weekend!!)

    • Oh, another smoker! Best of luck on quitting (and I say that without a hint of sarcasm!!). I do buy Camel at the duty-free, I am not a huge fan of Canadian brands.

  2. Hi Zhu,
    Welcome home!
    Good boy Mark; helping Mommy!
    I don’t have any set favorites that I bring back each time. We try and bring food items that we enjoy.
    My eyes are always open for small items to take home “just because”.
    Bon week end et bises.

  3. Singapore magnet heheheh…ya, I do pick up magnets from every city that I’ve visited as a souvenir besides bells, plates, thimble etc 😀

    Love that spice jar…so cute 😀

  4. I love les savons de Marseilles! They smell so good. My mom brought me some from Cote D’Ivoire. Usually, when i go home, i try to bring back shea and cocoa butter in raw form.

  5. I usually bring back canadian beer from my trips: not that convenient to hold on my backpack!! 😀 (oh, and Burt’s bee products)

  6. I think I tried a Nuxe handcream once, and really liked how it felt on my hands, but the smell was a bit overpowering. Or was it another brand? As for diaper rash, I used “Sudocrem” in Canada (made in Ireland, I believe) and worked wonders (had to bring a big jar here and a couple of samples). I works great on minor burns too.
    Savon de Marseille is on my list of products too when I expect a visitor from France or a package of goodies, together with tisane à la verveine (couldn’t find it neither in Canada not here) and, if I’m lucky, a bottle of Pastis (some 1 liter bottles are made of plastic!). 🙂

    • Nuxe products do have a strong smell and I understand if you didn’t like it. Couldn’t stand their cream when I was pregnant!

  7. There are so many things I like to bring back from the States! I have to hold back every time so that an already expensive trip doesn’t rack up even more expenses. Peanut butter M&Ms, Afrin (addictive but miraculous de-congestant), Benadryl (as a sleep aid), Aloe vera gel (for sunburns), Clinique products (so so sooo tempting in the duty free airport stores!), Burt’s Bees lip balm… sigh. I’m sure it would work the other way round though too if I ever moved back to the States.

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