Choosing a favorite chocolatier is like choosing a favorite pair of shoes or a favorite song, it depends on my mood that day, but there are always old favorites and new ones to try.
Located on Rue des Saints-Pères in the 7th arrondissement, Debauve & Gallais was my first taste of luxurious chocolate in Paris. They were founded in 1800 and began selling to the public in 1913 because before then they only sold to royalty. My favorite here is the palet d'or, and they have an online store in the US which is (hopefully) temporarily offline.
Chocolaterie Grandin in St. Germain-en-laye was founded more than two decades later in 1822 and still does a thriving business even though it's located outside of Paris and next door to both Nicolson which sells Berthillon ice creams and chocolates, and Confiserie Yvin. A few blocks away are Patrick Roger with his fanciful chocolate sculptures, and Pascal Le Gac, another award winning chocolatier.
One of the things I love about buying chocolates here is they put as much care into the presentation of the package as the making of them. After all, we all eat with our eyes first and the festive bonbon wrapping is a subliminal suggestion of sweet treats to come.
The smallest gift box looks like it contains jewelry (which it does in that the gold stamp is a signature of Grandin and the town emblem which reminds everyone that King Louis XIV was born here).
This video shows you more of the interior of their shop, which also sells pastries, and they do catering for parties (including non sweet items). The box contains two layers, so 16 chocolates total (which you can customize) for 10,50€ (about $15 USD). Each one is a dense rich exquisite bite of flavors so fresh and intense that one or two pieces would be the perfect ending to a meal.
A new MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) Patissier-confiseur just opened his shop literally two blocks away from Patrick Roger's original shop on Blvd. St. Germain in the 6th arrondissement.
Georges Larnicol has beautiful window displays for Halloween.
He has a chess set in white and dark chocolate, kouign amann, mendiants, caramels, and of course chocolates. His shop is more casual than any MOF establishment I've ever entered, with bins of self service varieties so you can pick as many or few of his creations as you would like and items are weighed at the counter. His designs are literally works of art, recreating eggs, mussels, and truffles but made with chocolate!
After all I have to taste a variety from the caramels to the seashells to see which one I like best! With so many choices, I'm taking my time tasting every one :)