1030 S. Charles St., Federal Hill / 410-528-6001 / Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

If you're looking for that perfect gift with a distinctive European flair, there's no need to hop on a plane. Instead, head to Federal Hill's latest au courant gift shop, the lovely and lively Le Petit Cochon.

"I love pigs and wanted something with whimsy," says owner Liz Perkins about the name, which means "the little pig" in French. But don't expect to find a store full of merchandise peppered with pigs (although there was an adorable pink pig pillbox). This small, lavender-hued shop is big on style, taste and elegance.

There are bundles of scented candles, beautiful blue-printed ceramics, embroidered linens, heavenly French soaps, dried flowers, pillows, books, tea and even chocolate from MarieBelle.

"It's a blend of American and European stuff," says Perkins, who opened Le Petit Cochon along with her husband, Sebastian Watt, in April.

The shop also offers several lines of artsy and humorous greeting cards made in places such as England and South Carolina.

"I travel a lot and go to France a lot, so this is wonderful," says Anne Davis, a Federal Hill resident shopping at the store recently. "It's unique."

Like a pig in pearls.

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