Life in France

Summer essentials to survive the Parisian heat: everything that I cannot live without in the summer.

Paris is notoriously hot in the summer. It’s a fact of life you cannot escape. It’s also a fact the French are not fans of air-conditioning. That doesn’t bother me at all, I grew up without it. Give me a ceiling fan, an oscillating fan and a good box fan and I’m set for the summer. Random, but the French don’t seem to like ceiling fans either. My friend Zoë and I lamented over that fact when she was renovating her home a while ago. 

If you are within the city of Paris during a canicule (heatwave); you know it can be absolutely unbearable. It’s like living in an oven. Unfortunately the set up of the city does not help; asphalte, concrete, lack of vegetation, etc. The Local has a really good article explaining this phenomenon. This may be behind a paywall, FYI. 

I’ve survived a few Parisian summers and I’ve put together a list of essentials that have gotten me through. Let me know what you would add to the list in the comments below! I’d love to hear what’s on your list. 

Evian Brumisateur

This is an absolute must! You can find these in any grocery store or pharmacy around the city. There are several different brands, but you’ll most likely find Evian and Avène more frequently than not. They come in different shapes and sizes. This year, I will be replacing these with this thanks to the suggestion of a friend. The fan will most likely be a nice touch and I imagine if you add ice cubes, it’ll be killer. 



Biafine Cream

This is more than just a cream you put on burns or bruises, I use this on my skin after I’ve been outside in the sun for a while. If I get sun burnt, I use this as well. Biafine is good for so many things and I’m starting to realize its full potential. Easily found on the shelves of your local pharmacie, you do not need to look very far. This would be a good one to have in your arsenal all year long. 

Hand fan

I remember seeing these around town, being used by women and men. I’d see them on the bus, the métro, patios, sitting on a bench, it seemed like they were used more frequently then I’d been used to seeing back in the States. I bought my first fan from Duvelleroy in the 8th. It’s a boutique known for their quality of fans. And honestly, I carry it with me 24/7. It has comes in handy more times than not. You can find an array of fans here

H&M bike shorts

If you’re a female like me, you have a slight issues with chaffing in-between during dress season. I’ve found a pair of shorts that are perfect in length and keep my legs chaff-free during the warmer months. This year, I bought 3 pairs because I live in dresses when I can when it is warm.  These are perfect because I don’t feel like I’m wearing shorts! They’re light, breathable and made of cotton. And they’re not expensive! 

Refillable water bottle

When you’re in Paris, did you know there is free water-filling stations (flat and fizzy!). There are over 1200 water points throughout the city. There’s no need to have to buy any bottled water from a café or a grocery store. As long as you have a refillable water bottle, you will always have access to free water throughout the city of Paris.


Paris is a walkable city. Paris is also a city where your feet could most likely be yelling you at the end of the day. If you’ve ever had a pairs of shoes (and I know we all have at least one or two) that always seem to leave a little blister or rub the wrong way, Compeed is the perfect solution to that. I have them in all shapes and sizes and I always make sure I’m stocked. They are not your like your normal band-aid, they stay on for a few days and you’ll know when they’re ready to come off. They adhere to the wound and help heal it faster. 


The sun can be brutal and having a good pair of sunnies at the ready is always a pus. Sometimes it seems like the sun can be extra brutal when walking about Paris some days. I never leave the house without mine, that’s for sure. I’ve always had a cheaper pair of sunglasses and finally last summer, I decided to splurge on a decent pair of glasses and stopped by a Jimmy Fairly store. The service was outstanding (they didn’t try to sell me on a bunch of other unnecessary items) and the price point was within my budget. I’d highly recommend checking out a Jimmy Fairly store next time you’re in the market for glasses (either prescription or not) for the quality, variety, and value. I’m still rocking these sunnies and thinking about getting another pair!


I feel like this is a no-brainer. If you’re not sporting sunscreen at this point in the game, I’d suggest investing in a bottle. They came in all shapes, sizes and SPFs. I’ve got them in different sizes (like my hand sanitizer these days) and am glad when I’m out and about that I lather up if I’m spending more time out in the sun then expected. Because getting a sun burn is not on one’s list of things to do, especially when on vacation or out and about around town. Can be found at any of your local pharmacies and grocery stores. 

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