Experience Shopping in Paris with Live Diary Updates

Embark on a virtual journey through Paris as we bring you real-time updates from the mothership of Hermès, Chanel, Dior and more in the enchanting city of Paris. From coveted handbags, street style, restaurants to must-visit sights,  join PurseBop team member @karenzpurses for an exclusive look into the latest collections, trends, and must-haves.

Karen will take us through her shopping journey in Paris, Dublin and London.

We will be updating this article daily, so stay tuned for daily updates and loads of eye candy.

This is a personal narrative and gives insight into the elusive world of Hermès. It’s important to emphasize that the pursuit of a Hermès bag remains a highly individualized and unpredictable endeavor, where factors such as timing, relationships with boutique staff, and sheer luck play substantial roles. What worked for her may not necessarily work for everyone, as each client’s journey at Hermès is a unique and often unpredictable experience.

In this way, the advice she offers is based on her personal experience. It should not be taken as rules and/or regulations or the advice of PurseBop. 

Day 1: Packing and Travel

One of the hardest parts of packing is deciding which bag to bring. Here are the bags in rotation for the next 2 weeks unless a new one enters the family.

Karen’s bags on travel

Of course when you’re traveling internationally, one of the airport perks is duty free shopping. Here’s a look at the current Hermès display at LAX Terminal B.

#hermeshusband in doorway.

Day 2: Arrival

After unpacking and securing all our valuables in the hotel, my husband and I  both applied for a Hermès leather appointment. There were no issues with applying in Paris on Wi-Fi.

You can apply the day before for an appointment request starting at 10:30am Paris time.

Wish me luck! I’m hoping to score an appointment like our community members.

Day 3: Shopping at Hermès FSH

Experience Shopping in Paris with Live Diary Updates | hermes fsh | hermes leather appointment | shopping in paris | paris tips | paris blogger | chanel paris | chanel rue cambon

Outside at Hermes FSH

Satin Constance

Sac Constance III Miroir Clouté en box leather

Sac Kelly II Sellier Clouté en box leather

Our first shopping stop was Hermès FSH, the mothership. It was busy, but not crowded. PurseBop’s new studded Mini Kelly was on display here. Drool!

Read Related: Hermès Reveal: Memories of a Star Studded Mini Kelly Come Full Circle

I bought an etoupe Kelly belt and met a lovely SA who gave me a lot of information

She told me Kelly belts are now in the quota category. You can only buy 1 every 6 months and maximum 2 a year.

I tried to buy sneakers and boots, but unfortunately they did not have my size.

Experience Shopping in Paris with Live Diary Updates | hermes fsh | hermes leather appointment | shopping in paris | paris tips | paris blogger

Below is the Capsule collection displayed for Haute Couture week. It will travel to different locations to be displayed. Truly beautiful.

On display at Hermès FSH

We had dinner at Maxim’s, which I highly recommend. You can book a table online here.

Maxim’s is located at No. 3 rue Royale

Day 4: Shopping at Chanel

I couldn’t wait to check out the new Chanel 24P collection. All the pink ready-to-wear is so cute. What do you think I should try on?

Read Related: Chanel Spring-Summer 2024 (24P) Bags are Here

Day 5: Shopping at Hermès Sevres

My quest for shoes continues. Today I tried to find the perfect pair at ‎Hermès Sevres.

Did you know this boutique used to be a swimming pool? It’s also the ‎only Hermès in Paris with a cafe.

These are amazing and are 30,000€. They did not have my size 😂😂😂

Looks like I’ll have to return to FSH to see if any new stock has arrived.

Boots at Sevres

Looks like someone got lucky here! Shopping Tip: Get your bags delivered to your hotel.

Read Related: How To Declare Your Hermès Purchases from Paris and Still Save Money

Day 5: Back to Hermès FSH

Here’s my reveal from the first day of shopping. I also was offered a Kelly pocket belt but decided it didn’t suit my style.

Check out the gorgeous window display at FSH. Talk about wishlist bags!

There was plenty more eye candy inside. I also made sure to apply again for the lottery today.

Day 6: Hermès Leather Appointment

After trying to apply for a Hermès leather appointment online everyday without success, I gathered up the courage to ask for a walk-in appointment. I explained that I have diligently applied all week and it would be my last day to apply. The SA at the desk scanned the appointment list and my application information from her phone and said she can make an exception for me. I was so thrilled!

The wait for my SA to return

She brought me upstairs to wait for a SA assignment. After I sat down, I immediately called my daughter who was still fast asleep back in Los Angeles. I was so nervous and excited! About 10 minutes later, my assigned SA arrived. He asked what I was looking for. My wishlist was a Kelly Pochette, Constance Black Epsom with Palladium hardware or a Kelly Danse 2. I told him that I love pink and pastels.

While the SA was gone, I reached out to PurseBop to give me a pep talk. What if he came back empty handed? PurseBop was able to calm my nerves and congratulated me for getting the rare opportunity to score a walk-in appointment.

After about 30 minutes, the SA returned with several choices. However, he was not able to offer me a quota bag.

Mauve Pale Picotin 18

We have heard that walk-in clients no longer seem to be offered quota bags, Kelly Pochettes, Constances or any other limited edition non-quota bags.

Quota bags seem to be reserved for online appointment clients, meaning those that have a confirmed leather appointment through Hermes’ online system. Or reserved for established clients with an assigned SA.

Comparison of Picotin with my own Mini Kelly

The SA generously offered an adorable Picotin 18 and an In-the-Loop bag. For this pink lover, a Rose Sakura In-the-Loop was the obvious choice. It could not be left behind. This will be my 6th bag in this color pink in my collection.

Family of pinks for Valentine’s Day

So thankful to bring this one home!

In-the-Loop in Rose Sakura

In-the-Loop in Rose Sakura interior

Day 7: Ritz Paris Review

Since my first visit to Paris in 2004 I have dreamed of staying at the Ritz Paris. It epitomizes what I always envision Paris to be. Twenty years later, my dream came true. And staying at the Ritz Paris during Valentine’s Day was extra special.

We arrived early in the morning and our beautiful room was ready for us. We were greeted with open arms and every amenity possible. The service here is impeccable, the staff are superb, and the hotel is stunning. Everything was perfect for our visit to Paris.

Soon after arriving we were treated to a personal tour of the Coco Chanel Suite on the second floor of the hotel with sweeping views of Place Vendome. The Suite is available for guests for a mere €20,000 per night. During the Olympics this summer expect that price to double.

There was a large living room and two master suites. Coco’s suite was to the right and the guest suite was to the left of the grand living room. The couch in the living room is Coco Chanel’s original couch.

Coco Chanel lived in this apartment for 10 years. Her view of Place Vendôme looks over her first Chanel boutique location which now houses the fine jewelry. Her second boutique, which houses her next apartment after moving out of the Ritz, is around the corner at 31 Rue Cambon.

All Ritz rooms have shiny gold faucets in the bathroom because it reminded Mr Ritz of his childhood faucets. However, Coco Chanel’s bathrooms have silver bathroom fixtures with the Chanel signature font on them designating hot and cold in French.

If you have the opportunity to visit the Ritz Paris you will not be disappointed.

Day 8: Paris Sights and Activities

While in Paris there are many wonderful things to do when you have completed your shopping. Visiting the Eiffel Tower is always first on our list. We walked from our hotel to the Eiffel Tower and then proceeded to take the stairs as far as we could for the most unbelievable views of the entire City. We also took the elevator to the top of the Tower before walking down the stairs to the bottom. Despite the rain that day, we were not deterred at all. There is something so magical about the Eiffel Tower that I must visit it every time I am in Paris.

Next we walked from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre. Again the raindrops did not stop our mission to explore the City by foot. The Louvre was busy despite being late afternoon. We ventured inside to find the Mona Lisa. Just follow the signs and crowds and you will be in the magical room in mere minutes. After viewing the Mona Lisa and taking selfies, we ventured around the remaining rooms marveling at the large scale paintings and sculptures in each area.

Walking around the City visiting some of the Churches and Cathedrals was another activity we enjoyed. Each one was unique and gorgeous. 


After a full day navigating the City by foot, we returned to the Ritz Paris to enjoy the hotel.

Our two favorite restaurants we visited were Maxims and Girafe. Maxims was a popular restaurant in the early 1920’s and was recently remodeled and restored to its original beauty. The food was delicious and the entertainment was delightful. Girafe was a favorite as well. Situated at the perfect spot for views of the Eiffel Tower, this restaurant is always a pleasure to visit. The food is wonderful, the atmosphere is delightful, and the views cannot be matched. Since it is dark in Paris by 6 p.m. the Eiffel Tower sparkles at the top of each hour for 5 minutes.

On our last day in Paris we took the train to Disneyland Paris. If you are an amusement park or Disney fan, this is a great way to spend the day. The train takes you directly to the entrance of the park in a mere 40 minutes from the City. Navigating Disneyland even in the rain was easy with reasonable wait times for almost all the popular attractions. We had a great time.

Day 9: Navigating Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle Airport

Sadly, the Paris portion of our trip came to an end and we had to navigate the Paris airport, Charles de Gaulle (CDG). I have been to Paris 6 times and the process of navigating the airport has never gotten easier. Each time I have faced different unexpected occurrences that complicate the process. My best tip is be sure to arrive 3 hours before your flight is scheduled to leave. If everything goes smoothly and easily, you will just have more time to shop tax free in the airport. 

The first thing to do upon arriving at the airport is find the Détaxe (Tax Refund) kiosks before check-in. Be sure to have your boarding pass before processing the VAT forms because the Customs Officer will ask to see it. At Terminal 1 Détaxe is located on the lower level. There are several Kiosks to process the VAT refund forms. If a green screen appears for all the forms, keep your forms and proceed to the area to check your bags. If a red screen appears, go see the Customs officer and have the purchases available to show the officer if asked. Usually higher priced items get a red screen in my experience. This process can take a few minutes to much longer if there is a long line of people waiting to do the same thing.

Tips based on my personal experience: 

-Have your boarding pass printed or on your phone before processing the VAT forms. The Customs officer will ask to see your boarding pass if you receive a Red screen when processing the forms.

-Have your purchases available to show the Customs officer if asked. This is why it is advisable not to check in your luggage before processing your VAT forms. We also recommend packing your most valuable purchases (i.e. handbags and jewelry) in your carryon luggage. 

-If the Kiosks are broken, everyone must process their VAT forms at the Customs Window. The officer will manually stamp the forms by hand and either keep the forms or tell you to place them in the “mailbox” nearby. If the VAT forms are manually processed expect your refund to take up to 3 months to be processed. On my last visit I did not receive my VAT refunds for a full 2 months. 

-If you are traveling to another country within the European Union (EU), do not process your VAT forms at the Paris airport or train station. Wait to process them when you are leaving the last EU country visited.

Next, proceed to find the airline you will be traveling on to check your luggage. This process can take some time to navigate the large airport.


After checking in your luggage proceed by following the signs to your gate. This will lead you to security. Security can take a much longer time than anticipated as they manually check many of the carry-on pieces and do not tell you to remove electronics and cosmetics from your bags. 


Once you are through security, do not think you are ready to shop. Next comes Passport control. This area is likely located near your actual gate so allow time if you encounter the shopping area before Passport Control. Passport Control can be extremely busy and requires extra time to be processed. 

Shopping in Terminal 1

The best (and worst) part of leaving Paris through Terminal 1 is the shopping. It is plentiful and time consuming. Every imaginable luxury designer is present, Hermès, Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and more. The SA’s are all extremely nice and helpful and the inventory is decent. I had very little time this trip to actually shop after navigating the airport even though I arrived 3 hours before my flight. Good luck and enjoy your trip to Paris. 


The other Terminals at CDG have shopping as well but not as extensive as in Terminal 1. 


Stay tuned for my shopping updates from Dublin and London next.

Day 10: Luxury Shopping in Dublin

Luxury shopping in Dublin is primarily located inside the department store Brown Thomas. The shopping area can be found on Grafton Street. It is a lively walk street with many stores, pubs, and restaurants. There are entertainers on the street performing as well. A side street has Cartier and the luxury watch stores all in a row.

Hermès, Chanel, Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton and more all have lovely boutiques with a nice assortment of inventory. The Hermès store is quite small but most, if not all, of the metiers are represented. There is a nice display wall of bags, small leather goods, jewelry, home goods, ready to wear, shoes, and silks. The SA’s are extremely nice and helpful. However, their stock can be low if they have not yet received their monthly shipment.

Hermès in Dublin and all other European locations, including the UK, operate on the wishlist system. The wishlist is for local clients only. The SA described the wishlist system as follows:


-Choose one bag only (Birkin or Kelly, size 20,25,28,30,32,35; Sellier or Retourne)

-Choose one leather only (Epsom for Sellier and Togo for Retourne)

-Choose one hardware (gold or palladium or rose gold)

-Choose 3 leather colors

-Wishlist expires in 12 months and must be renewed

-The SA does not inform their clients that their wishlist is expiring

-Usually the wishlist is not fulfilled in the first year and must be renewed but is likely to be fulfilled in the second year

-A client does not need any prespend to place a wishlist or for the wishlist to be fulfilled

-Non-quota bags are offered to local and non-local clients on a first come first served basis based on request. 

-The Dublin store does not get exotic bags or limited edition bags generally

-When a client’s wishlist is fulfilled they receive an email. The client has 5 days to claim the bag

-All stores in Europe can see the client’s profile in other European Hermès stores

-The Constance is no longer a quota bag in the Europe

– The Kelly Pochette and all bags with a Kelly in the name are considered quota bags including the Kelly Danse, Kelly Elan, etc.

-VAT refunds are 16% in Ireland

-The quota bags are delivered to the Dublin store. The fulfillment team matches the bags to the wishlists. The SA is generally not involved with this process but is able to communicate with their colleagues who handle the wishlist fulfillments.

-You can only have one active wishlist at any one store in all of Europe

Stay tuned for more…

Published: February 12th, 2024
Updated: February 21st, 2024

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

2 Responses to “Experience Shopping in Paris with Live Diary Updates”

  • I too got a leather appointment in Paris but was offered a Constance rather than a B or K which I asked for. Seems the allure of the Paris trip to get a B or K is wearing off!

  • Lots of great advice!

    Just a friendly reminder that the UK and Switzerland aren’t in the EU, so you can’t process your VATs there!