A rendering of the Scandinavian theme planned by BHV Marais for Christmas


HYGGE BY DESIGN: BHV Marais is turning to Denmark, reputedly one of the world’s happiest countries, to bring some hygge coziness to the chilly Paris winter.

From Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, the department store will channel its inner Scandinavian — with help from the Danish embassy in France, Denmark’s tourist office VisitDenmark and the Paris-based cultural center La Maison du Danemark.

The store will showcase Danish fashion and design, with workshops to introduce Parisians to the Danish art of living and Scandinavian Christmas traditions.

“A hygge wind is blowing into the BHV Marais so Parisians can experience the magical atmosphere of the celebrated Danish Christmas,” reads the store’s description of the plans.

For anyone who has missed out on the hygge obsession that first gripped Britain and now the U.S., there are dozens of new books to describe it. There is no English equivalent of the term, which made the shortlist of Oxford’s word of the year and conjures up feelings of warmth that come from woolen socks and candle light. Pronounced hue-guh, which sounds more elegant when spoken by native Danish speakers, it is steeped in the country’s culture.

An explanatory clip by VisitDenmark tries to explain, featuring a laundromat doubling as a café, eating porridge well past breakfast time and a sip of dark beer with a hint of coffee, all ranking highly on the hygge scale.

Such flavors may appeal to the younger, urban crowds that BHV is angling to draw in. The Parisian landmark has branched out from its 160-year-old tradition of selling kitchen supplies and hardware to serve as a lifestyle destination. It offers gym classes and a reading space for employees and farms organic produce on the rooftop, including hops to make beer.

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