This Week’s Top Story

Asrai Gardens ( has had a Wicker Park shop for nearly 20 years, and just opened a second location on the ground floor of the Ace Hotel (311 N. Morgan St.) With candles burning and a Palo Santos–like fragrance in the air, the new shop has a witchy-luxe kind of vibe. You may walk in for the flowers, but you’ll be sidetracked by a bit of magic first.

Crystals, meditation bundles, and tarot cards are displayed amid tall black candlesticks; a decorative black bird’s wing lies in a case of twinkling fine jewelry. The hunter-green walls are hung with talisman-like fixtures including fringed evil eyes, and a selection of gorgeously fragranced candles are inspired by phases of the moon.

The shop also tends to more earthly matters, stocking items that will come in handy for travelers and hotel guests. There’s toothpaste and shaving cream, a small selection of chocolate bars, and an assortment of periodicals.

As for those flowers, roses and various flowers chill in a cooler, while a long table holds buckets of seasonal blooms and greenery. Ask for help designing a bouquet, or pull a few stems (individually priced at about $3 to $15 a pop) and have the staffers tie them together.

Top Sales This Week

Marc Jacobs (11 E. Walton St., is getting festive with its “To All a Good Sale.” The promotion takes 40 percent off select looks, including a vinyl funnel-neck trench coat (reduced from $695 to $417) and a vintage-inspired wool cocoon coat in marigold.

Giorgio Armani (25 E. Oak St., is holding its Fall/Winter 2018 sale. Score discounts on dozens of items, including a flared jacket in virgin wool (reduced from $4,495 to $2,697) and a velvet jacket with a contrast-fabric bib front (reduced from $3,895 to $2,337).

Le Creuset (47 E. Ohio St., is offering 20 to 40 percent storewide. This is your chance to test out the French brand’s famous Dutch ovens, which are revered for keeping even and consistent heat.

Health & Beauty

Skin Laundry ( is now open at Nordstrom at the Oak Brook Mall (10 Oak Brook Center, Oak Brook). The spa offers quick services like the 15-Minute Light & Laser Facial ($75), which uses a laser and pulsing lights to reduce pigmentation and increase collagen. There’s also a 30-miunte Carbon Peel Facial ($150), which uses Skin Laundry’s Carbon Oil to clean and exfoliate the face. You can also shop Skin Laundry products on site, and — bonus — the first Light & Laser Facial is free to all new customers.

Looking to add a little gingerbread spice to your life, or to your stockings? Bath and Body Works (local stores here, has a new collection of particularly festive scents. Look for gift-worthy candles, lotions, and other products in scents such as  Spiced Gingerbread Swirl and Cinnamon & Pinecone. On the less overtly Christmas-y end of the spectrum, there’s Black Chamomile Sleep, which uses a blend of chamomile and bergamot oil to promote relaxation, and the new In the Stars scent, which mixes starflower, sandalwood musk, sugared tangelo, white agarwood, and amber.


Chicago Fire fans have a new place to stock up on merchandise this season. Now open at the Wrigley Building (400–410 N. Michigan Ave.), Fire on the Mile sells Adidas soccer apparel and designer collaborations. The sporty pop-up also has skee-ball, foosball, and a gaming lounge.


Tory Burch (45 E. Oak St., hosts “Made for You,” an in-store holiday, event Tuesday and Wednesday. Korean artist and illustrator Mison Kim will personalize bags with hand-painted floral initials and designs inspired by nature, such as ginko leaves, scarabs, and dragonflies. The customization is complimentary.

Retail News of the Week

  • FAO Schwartz plans to open a store at Midway. Read more.
  • Chicago has a new licensing system that will likely draw more pop-ups to the city. Read more.
  • Timothy Long now oversees the luxury accessories and couture department at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. Read more.