11 Traditional French Riviera Products you Need to buy as Souvenirs
Looking for iconic, traditional French Riviera products? Maybe you’re looking for Traditional French Riviera products to buy as souvenirs or simply to appreciate the charm, tastes, and scents of the Riviera?
It’s safe to say that the French Riviera is one of the most iconic places in the world.
Every year, the beauty of Provence attracts millions of tourists, and over the years, it has almost established a mythical reputation.
Famous for its glitz and glamour, and for being a vacation place for the wealthy aristocracy, the French Riviera has a lot to offer. The history of the French Riviera is long and rich and stretches far back, and over the years, traditional French Riviera products have become more apparent, as the people who lived there a long time ago created products from local products from the area – something that shapes the French Riviera all the way upon this very day, as the manufacturing of the traditional French Riviera products continues, and has become a symbol of the Riviera.
No matter if you’re inspired by the beauty of the south of France and want to buy traditional French Riviera products to embrace the history and culture and bring a piece of it home, or if you’ve been to the French Riviera and forgot to buy yourself a souvenir, and are tired of all the boring printed t-shirts and pencils that every tourist office sell in every place you visit, you’re in the right place.
Often times, it’s much more interesting to buy local products from the place you visit as opposed to boring souvenirs for tourists because while the local traditional products have played a significant role in the development of the place you visit, the tourist souvenirs have not.
In this article, we will, therefore, share our top pick of the most iconic and best traditional French Riviera products that you need to buy as souvenirs.
There’s not a lot of other traditional French products that are so closely associated with the French Riviera than perfume. In fact, in the city of Grasse, not far from the Mediterranean coastline, just a short travel from Cannes lies what is considered to be the world’s capital of perfume.
In Grasse, perfume has been made for hundreds of years, and the flowers that are used have been grown in Grasse with great respect and attention to detail.
Molinard is one of the perfumeries of Provence and was founded in Grasse and is a manufacturer of perfume for some of the most iconic luxury brands in the world.
If you are in the hunt for traditional French Riviera products, there’s not a lot of products that are more iconic than perfume, as the production of perfume in Provence has had an enormous economic impact on the area and helped it grow.
Molinard has a great collection of perfumes, all of which are made in their factory in Grasse, and the brand was founded in 1849.
Here is our top selection of Molinard perfumes:
Fragonard may be the most famous perfumery in the whole of Provence.
Fragonard also has its very own factory in the capital of Perfume, Grasse, and their fragrances are very popular. A perfume from Fragonard is the ultimate traditional French Riviera product, and if you’ve visited the area, you are able to bring the scents of Provence to your home. Not bad, right?
Here is our top selection of Fragonard perfume:
Provencal olive oil (huile olive)
Is there anything more iconic to the French Riviera than olives? For centuries, olives have been picked on the French Riviera as it has provided a perfect climate for the olives to grow. Back in the days, the olives provided food to the people and helped them survive, but now, the olives are mainly used for artisanal crafts and base products for making mainly olive oil, but of course for eating as well.
Olive oil is one of the most traditional French Riviera products, and whether you’re in the hunt for the perfect gift from Provence, or just in the hunt for a product which will allow you to bring Provence home, olive oil from Provence is a perfect gift – to someone else or yourself.
Here is our top selection of Provencal olive oil
Provencal Dijon Mustard
Another traditional French product is Dijon Mustard.
Of course, if you know that the name of the mustard derives from a city in France, Dijon, you might be wondering how this product can be a traditional French Riviera product, however, the people on the Riviera have their own version of it, and the mustard is quite popular here, being regularly eaten. Also, it’s not uncommon that it is featured in various dishes in one way or another.
Here is our top choice of Provencal Dijon Mustard
This is a brand that is famous all over the world and a brand that most people know of, and amazingly, it has its root in the French Riviera, more specifically Grasse.
In fact, the brand’s name is L’occitane en Provence.
The brand is an international retailer of body, face, fragrances and home products based in Manosque, France. The brand is well-respected and loved all over the world, and this makes products from L’Occitane the ultimate gifts that are always well received.
The products are made with local flower oils and scents from the French Riviera area, and now being sold all over the world.
Here is our top selection of L’Occitane products
Local Provencal herbs
If you want to spice up your food and are in the hunt for some traditional French Riviera products, local provencal herbs are the perfect souvenir.
At every traditional French Riviera market, you’ll find local spices and herbs, and buying these means bringing home a taste of Provence to your very own kitchen. Who wouldn’t want that? The Provencal herbs are essential ingredients of Provencal cuisine and of its bouquets, herbs give a very particular identity to the cuisine.
Here are the top Provencal herbs
Provencal balsamic vinegar
It’s not only olive oil that is made on the French Riviera, but also balsamic vinegar. If you enjoy balsamic vinegar, why not buy a local provencal one which can take you to Provence in every drop.
Here is our top selection of Provencal balsamic vinegar
Olives de Nice
As you know, olives are a huge industry on the French Riviera and have been so for a long time. While olive oil is an important product in the south of France and has been so for a long time in history, local olives are also a popular product that is delicious and fun to get home to enjoy later when you want to remember the beauty of the Riviera.
While Olives from all parts of the French Riviera are delicious, Olives de Nice, olives from Nice, are especially popular and a perfect souvenir and a delicious ingredient straight from the Riviera.
Here are our favorite Olives de Nice
French Provencal sea salt
The French Riviera is situated by the beautiful Mediterranean sea, which is salt. while the salt production isn’t enormous on the French Riviera, it is big in the surrounding areas and countries of the Mediterranean. Also, the French Riviera Provencal sea salt is not pure, but also includes a number of herbs and spices to add more flavor to the salt, and tastes absolutely delicious. A must-have! Perfect to give away or have for yourself.
Menton on the French Riviera, the last city before the Italian border is notoriously known for lemons and arranges every year the iconic lemon festival. It produces an enormous number of lemons every year and makes all types of products from their lemons, including limoncello, as well as preserves them.
The scent of lemons will allow you to daydream back to the French Riviera, and this jar of preserved lemons is a perfect product.
Tapenade is one of the most typical traditional French Riviera products.
It is made from all the local ingredients from Provence and is a typical southern dish made with olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil, chopped or blended finely together.
If you walk around any market in Provence, you will see stalls heaped with olive pastes and tapenades. It’s a popular snack, but one that you maybe don’t want to carry with you from the local market, and therefore, it’s much easier to just click it home.