Here are the oils you’re most likely to find in a French shop:
huile d’arachide: peanut or ground nut oil. Said to be the best for frites.
huile d'avocat: avocado oil. Not common, but excellent for frying foods at high temperatures (520°F/271°C).
huile de carthame: safflower oil
huile de colza: rapeseed oil
huile de maïs: corn oil
huile d’olive: olive oil. See olives for more on the French varieties.
huile de noisette: hazelnut oil.
huile de noix: walnut oil. Delicious on salads
huile de palme: palm oil
huile de pépin de courge: pumpkin seed oil, fairly rare outside health food stores
huile de pépins de raisins: grape seed oil, recommended for a fondue Bourguignonne
huile de sésame: sesame oil, made from grilled sesame seeds, with a nutty flavour, sold in the Asian section of the supermarket. There is also a sesame oil made with non-grilled seeds that is supposed to have health benefits.
huile de son de riz: rice bran oil. Anti-cholesterol, antioxydant, Omega-3 oil recommended by cardiologists; in health food stores.
huile de tournesol: sunflower oil. France makes a lot but still has to import some to meet demand.
Image by Oregon State University