Purely Paris: Tout Noté for the Perfect Gift
Mon 21 Mar 2011
All photos: Cynthia Rose
The name of the papeterie Tout Noté translates as Everything Noted and, if you need the perfect gift from Paris, take those words literally. Why? Step inside this shop in the 5th and you enter a little jewel box. The real surprise of this boutique—twice as large as it looks from outside—is its range of unexpected yet very packable treasures.
Even the space itself is quirky and unique. That’s because, for half a century, it was a lab that manufactured surgical scalpels and scissors in steel. This accounts for the raked glass roof through which daylight streams, highlighting those gorgeous colors found throughout the shop.
Tout Noté itself began as a brand. It was founded 10 years back to make artisan papers, custom-made notebooks and handcrafted albums. (When the store opened in September, the studio also moved here). Co-owners Laurence Gabillet and Dominique Boulanger have used the premises to “assemble everything we love.” In addition to a huge stock of paper goods, this means a quirky mix of home decor, travel and fashion that includes witty accessories, jewelry and toys. So if you’re only briefly in Paris, you can still bring home an ideal gift.
Many of the products here are collaborations with charities that bring jobs to developing countries. Others make their products out of organic or recycled goods. All contribute to the kaleidoscope of colors and textures—like the garlands of luminous boules you can choose and put together yourself. Kids will love the school supplies and boxes of funny badges as well as the comfy, hand-painted rubber boots from Italy.
The gamut of upscale papeterie is also
available, including hard-to-find items from Italy’s Moleskine, Japan’s Mark’s Inc. and Germany’s Semikolon. The store’s most charming asset, however, is its own brand.
Its beautiful cards and writing papers cry out to host a letter home; hand-bound albums suggest the perfect Paris gift could be a scrapbook of your personal photos. You can also plump for my economy option: packing a few small items in a witty bag of recycled rubber. Part of a partnership that brings jobs to a slum in India, this funky range—made from old tires—even has iPod cases.
Laurence says they work to keep the shop eclectic. “We want to stock everything whose color or whose nature encourages people to travel!” Currently, the studio is at work on “the perfect gift book for Parisians,” which I look forward to seeing. But it’s great just to have this address in my little black book—or, in a carnet whose paper pages are both lemon and lime, bound in raspberry raffia and topped with a silver charm.
Grammatical tense: Present perfect! As in: I have found some of the best gifts in Paris.
While you’re in the area: Have lunch or dinner steps away at Le Bussion Ardent. There, two midday formules under 20 euros feature the twists on traditional cuisine prized by locals. Alternative: Enjoy a stroll, then sip mint tea at the nearby Institut du monde arabe.
What I bought my Francophile auntie: A small black zip bag of recycled rubber containing a pink badge reading “Nothing to hide” in French, a rose-colored pill tin, a tiny “C’est à ne pas oublier/Things not to forget” notebook and an iPhone case in purple metal mesh. Included: a happy birthday letter on lilac paper, written with one of the store’s special silver pencils.
35, rue Jussieu, in the 5th. 01 43 25 28 24.
Metro: either Jussieu or Cardinal Lemoine.
Hours: Mon–Sat, 10:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
Website under construction at www.toutnote.fr.