Hidden on a quiet street in the Marais district of Paris, just a stone's throw away from the bustling Rue de Rivoli, lies a little treasure chest of a shop, filled with curiosities that will illuminate your imagination. This isn't your average home décor boutique, it's an ever-changing wonderland of unique and sometimes bizarre objects.
In business for over 20 years, De Bouche à Oreille is the perfect place to find a truly unique souvenir, and since most of the items here are quite small, they'll easily fit into your suitcase.
The shop name itself, De Bouche à Oreille, literally translates to “from mouth to ear,” but means the same as the English expression “by word of mouth.” It seems appropriate that such a quirky shop would have a name that connotes a feeling of secrecy and curiosity. Its under-the-radar location only adds to the overall effect, since few people bother to wander beyond the Rue de Rivoli or the Rue des Rosiers, two important streets that straddle this little boutique.
Here you'll find a variety of beautiful and strange objects, a mix of new and antique pieces, plus many excellent reproductions by brands such as Chehoma: Magnifying glasses, gilded picture frames, medical models like skeletons and even taxidermy butterflies, which are, in fact, real butterflies. Shopping here is like visiting an expertly curated flea market, without having to travel outside the city or spend time digging through piles of junk for those unique gems. It's true, not everything here is an authentic antique piece, but for the traveler with less time on their hands, this would be the perfect compromise. You can stop here on your way to visit other shops, museums and landmarks in the area.
Why not pick up the perfect frame for a family photo you captured in front of the Eiffel Tower? Or perhaps purchase a few antique books to add old-world charm to your bookshelf back home. Or maybe you're a collector of coffee mugs – they have those here too!
Be sure to take a look at the array of brightly colored, framed butterflies, they're gorgeous! If you're at all interested in the animal kingdom or taxidermy, you might want to consider visiting the truly unique Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature – the Museum of Hunting and Nature – located just a few blocks north of here. Check out the website by clicking here.
Even though this boutique is very close to many top sights, it's easy to miss if you're not looking for it. I suggest incorporating this shop into your Marais itinerary, along with the lively Rue des Rosiers, educational and free Musée Carnavalet, and the peaceful Place des Vosges. For more of the top things to see and do in the 3rd & 4th arrondissements, see this page!
De Bouche à Oreille
26 rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 PARIS
Metro Saint Paul (line 1)
Bus 76, 69 & 96 (stop Saint Paul)
If you're looking for even more quirky home décor addresses, check out this blog post about a concept shop called Fleux.
(Image Credits: All images by the Author.)