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Cassie’s Scents

A holiday gift guide for procrastinators Part II

Not surprisingly, Todd Lannom and Ginny Stewart, co-owners of Centro, 4727 McPherson Ave., have taken the minimalist approach to making gift shopping easy. There are simply three plywood tables at the front of the shop filled with beautifully designed, unusual gifts. Two tables hold items made in America, the third, selections from Italy.

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Almost everything on the American table, above, was designed by artisans located in Brooklyn. Front: AreaWear by Bower designs clever geometric trivets that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The larger herringbone shapes, front, are $35 each. The smaller tiles far left (made of wood) and right, can be mixed and matched and used as individual coasters too, $18.

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Top left: American designer David Weeks’ beechwood gorilla, $100, and bear, $90, have movable parts. The Balancing Block dog at the top of the photo is a Snake Block®, a classic toy composed of 24 wooden triangles with an elastic band throughout, $48.  Top right: Balancing Blocks wooden shapes from Fort Standard are also $48.

Bottom photos: The latest in art lamps: “Filo” from Foscarini with glass ornaments comes in 8 different color palates, $550. Right: Decorative American-made outlets with 3 different cord lengths are handsome enough to leave in full view. Some have USB ports as well, $59 to $179.

Check Centro’s website for more information.

Don’t pout if you still need holiday cards, gift bags, or gift wrap. You’ll find them at Cassie’s, 316 N. Euclid.

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From top: Boxes of Papyrus holiday cards are $14.95 to $24.95, Right: a large selection of holiday gift wrapping paper ranges from $8.95 to $9.95: Bottom: Gift bags are $4.50 and up. Cassies also has a perfume bar where you can create your own scents, see bottles above.

Head to Cassie’s website for hours and more information.

The Candle Fusion Studio, 4742 McPherson Ave., below,

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Top left: At The Candle Fusion you can purchase ready-made holiday candles in scents such as Cozy Fireside, $22, Holiday Ale, Balsam Fir, Cranberry, Gingerbread, and Candy Cane, $18 each. Top right: Or you can blend your own scents to create your own candle.

Bottom: You can choose from a variety of glass jars and scented oils to create the perfect gift.

The shop does a brisk business hosting candle-making parties. For more information, visit The Candle Fusion website.

At Enchanting Embellishments, 4732 McPherson Ave.

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Left: A show-stopping faux-fur vest from Furious Fur in shades of beige to brown is $129.95; colorfully patterned socks from Sock Smith for men & women range from $9.95 to $19.95.

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At Enchanting Embellishments, you’ll find zany Betsy Johnson Holiday Purses, $89.95.

Visit the website for more information.

At Shelton Davis, 4724 McPherson Ave.,

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you’ll find a selection of English tea caddies as old as King George I or George II, spanning the 18th to 19th century, $800 to $1200. Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Clockwise from top: Antique Venetian Glass bedside water carafe with glass lid, $145; a pair of French Art Deco jeweled perfume bottles, $375; English cut glass round perfume bottle with sterling silver top, $150; cut crystal perfume bottles with sterling silver tops, $275.

Visit Shelton Davis website for more information.

World Chess Hall of Fame carries a wide variety of gift items, and this Saturday everything is 20% off:

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Left: Jaunty bow ties by Cyberoptix, $50. Right: Chess sets include top left: a 14″ folding magnetic set with travel pouch $119, WCHOF member price: $95.20, top right, 7 1/2″ square magnetic chess set, $59, member price, $47.20, and front, 10 x 5″ magnetic chess set, $79, member price $63.20.

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Left: Ball point pens disguised as quill pens with stand, $12. Right: There is a large selection of children’s toys at WCHOF including top left: Ogobolli Rattles, $11 each; 6-piece Pound & Tap Bench for age 12 months, $33; and a magnetic puzzle for age 24 months, $28.

Check out World Chess Hall of Fame’s website for more information.

At Mike’s Bikes, 324 N. Euclid,

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Top: Striders for ages 2 to 5 years are $120, and bottom photo: Pop some batteries into Kazam “blinkies,” $100, and the trail will blaze as they push ahead.

Visit Mikes Bikes website for more information.

Wolfgang’s Pet Stop, 330 N. Euclid,

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An assortment of freshly-baked holiday-themed dog cookies will be a welcomed treat for your four-legged friend this Christmas. Mix & match organic peanut butter, honey, and oatmeal, or choose one with liver, 4 for $5.

Wolfgang’s is also offering a small group (4-5 dogs) 1-hour dog training class on Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. starting January 19, $150 (five sessions). For more information click here.

Don’t miss the last of this year’s Window Walk festivities taking place this Saturday, December 22.

Shop local and have a wonderful Holiday everyone!

A CWE Valentine’s Gift Guide

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Who doesn’t need an expression of love right now? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, shopkeepers in the CWE have come up with some imaginative ideas to help show the one(s) you love how special they are. And that goes for you too – be sure to treat yourself to something love-ly as well.

Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive Street, has a wide selection of imaginative ideas for getting in the Valentine’s spirit. Above, LOVE garland, $14.

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Other suggestions include from top left: meri meri cupcake kits, $14; a heart fern, $8, in cachepot, $14: roll of heart stickers, $8; assorted Washi tape (in basket) $6.50; heart-shaped Hoya succulent, $6.50; front, assorted cards $5-$8; “Be Mine” clutches, $14; far right, paper cups decorated with hearts, $6.

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Left: Tiny cyclamen, $4.50. Right: Assorted cards, $5-$5.50; roll of stickers, $8; love sticker sheets, 10 for $6.  On Tuesday, February 14, Bowood Farms is hosting Silvia Dadian-Smith of Snapdragon Studio who is bringing an array of beautiful blooms to stock a Valentine’s Bouquet Bar. Stop by anytime between 12-2 p.m. to create your own hand-tied bouquet, $25.

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At The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson Ave., proprietor Alex Head suggests a bottle of Flor Rose Prosecco, $18, in a St. Louis-themed fleur de lis bottle.

The Vino Gallery has expanded its menu adding a selection of appetizers to enjoy in house with a glass of wine. These include a butcher’s plate, $13, Mediterranean olive medley, $4, hummus & pita, $6, and grissinis (prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks), $7. In addition the space is available for parties, fundraisers and/or corporate events. Email alex@thevinogallery.com for details.

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From Cassie’s, 318 N. Euclid.

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From left: Root Rose Petal candle, $19.95; Papyrus Valentine card, $8.95; gift bag, $5.95; Thymes Kimono Rose perfume, $40; front, Smoochies soap, $7.50.

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At Candle Fusion, 4742 McPherson: Set of 4 Romance candles scented with rose petals, dark chocolate, champagne, & whipped cream, $25. Candle Fusion is hosting a couples Valentine event, $55, includes candle-making, drinks, chocolates and live music on February 11, 14 & 18. Visit the website for more information.

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At Left Bank Books: Thanks to LBB staffer Shane Mullen for the love notes he put in each book for me, which I’ve put in quotations. Lower left, Thich Nhat Hanh’s How to Love, “a classic mediation on love,” $9.95. From top: Edna O’Brien’s The Love Object, “familial & romantic love from one of the masters,” $17.99; Emily Robbins A Word for Love, W.U. Alum on how to experience love, set in Syria,” $27. (Robbins has an upcoming book signing and discussion at LBB on 2/22 with local author Kea Wilson). “A hush hush historical love story” Eleanor and Hick, the love story that shaped a First Lady, by Susan Quinn, $30; “open your heart” with local poet Cheeraz Gorman’s In the Midst of Loving, $16; “Stranger Things meets The Rosie Project,” Jason Rekulak’s The Impossible Fortress (just out and highly regarded), $24; “St. Louis most famous doctors explain secrets of bedroom,” Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier, $16.99; “love in 2 languages,” 100 Love Sonnets/Cien Sonetos de Amor by Pablo Neruda, $19.95; Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, $17, “not just a humorous book but really in-depth view of how we love”; Romeo and/or Juliet, $20, a chooseable-path adventure by Ryan North “no explanation needed.”

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From top: “because friends are as good as lovers,” Cooking for Friends by Terry Edwards & George Craig, $35; “St. Louis author” Christina Lane, Dessert for Two Sweet & Simple$27.95 (she’s on instagram too). LBB staffer Sarah Holt helped with the children’s titles: “Just because it’s so cute,” When an Elephant Falls in Love, $14.99, by Davide Cale & Alice Lotti; Heart 2 Heart by Lois Ehlert, $9.99, “she’s a classic, good for all ages.”

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At The Cup, 28 Maryland Plaza, standard cupcakes such as Confetti, Red Velvet & Double Chocolate are $2.95 each; premium flavors, Ruby & Maple Bacon, are $3.45.

More suggestions coming up next.

Holiday Gift Picks III/Cassie’s, AG Jeans, Kay Oss Designs, The Candle Fusion Studio, Jeni’s

At Cassie’s:

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Clockwise from left: Gift box of 12 Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams, $70 ($120 value); Votivo Black Box fan diffuser with red currant scent pod operates on battery (inc.) or hooks to computer through usb port, $60. Pods in 13 different scents are sold separately, box of 3, $18; Lifesaver Tassel phone battery, $40; Thymes Fraser Fir candle, $29; inis “fragrance of the sea” unisex perfume from Ireland, $45; lower left, a charming “candy wrap” gift box of 3 Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams is $10.

Cassie’s, 316 N. Euclid, (314) 454-1010, Mon. – Thurs. 10:30 to 6, Fri. & Sat. 10:30 to 8, Sun. 12 to 5.

At AG Jeans:

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From AG Jeans “Made in Italy Collection” navy & white Arley silk blouse, $298; cozy cashmere/wool blend hat, $98; luxurious Arden Wrap with fringe (70% wool/30% cashmere), $198; Isabelle hi-rise straight crop leatherette pant, $255; far left, leather & suede clutch with tassel (not shown), $198.

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“Indigo Capsule” Men’s Collection: Diagon Cardigan (cotton & wool), $398; navy & grey striped 100% cotton top, $178; brown leather belt, $98; Tellis modern slim fit jeans, $225.

AG Jeans, 36 Maryland Plaza, (314) 361-6161, Mon. – Sat. 10 to 7, Sun. 12 to 6.

At KayOss Designs:

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Yesterday proprietor Amy Johnson sent an eblast that all merchandise in the showroom will be 25 % off tomorrow, Saturday, from 12 to 4. There is also a Holiday Sale Rack with hand-made clothing marked down to 40% off. The prices I’ve listed here are so yesterday.

Left: reversible halter tops, $139; right, ruffled-sleeved light-weight cardigans come in black or white, $129.

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Left: An assortment of eye-catching ruffled and beaded skirts in black and white, $129 to $220; Right: multi-colored shrug (comes in another color way too), $98.

KayOss Designs, 393 N. Euclid, Suite 220A, Sat., 12 to 4 p.m., or by appointment. Very soon Johnson will be relocating to Santa Barbara to design her spring line, but will return to her studio on Euclid in the spring.

At Relish Cards & Gifts:

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At Relish Cards & Gifts you’ll find an assortment of unusual glass ornaments made in Atlanta, $16 to $25.

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Also, from top left, “something’s amiss” in Puzzle Twist 1000 piece puzzle, i.e. the finished puzzle isn’t exactly what’s shown on the box, St. Louis theme or far right, candy assortment, $19.95; clever Train, Plane and Race Car books come with wind-up toy and tracks, $29.95; Turkish bowls, $10.95 to $19.95; CWE and St. Louis-themed coasters, $6.95; made in St. Louis soaps, $6.95; “Life’s a party in St. Louis or in the CWE” tea towels, $13.95.

Relish Cards & Gifts, 22 S. Euclid, (314) 367-9333, Mon., Weds., Fri., 10 to 6, Tues. Thurs., 10 to 7, Sat. 10 to 5, Closed Sun.

Welcome The Candle Fusion Studio to the neighborhood!

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The Candle Fusion Studio opened at 4742 McPherson Avenue last weekend.

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Instructions for making your own soy-based candles are shown above, or purchase ready-made candles in the vast “candle library.” There are several scents of the holiday season and traditional scented candles (Lavender, etc.), and some unexpected scents like Man Cave, Coffee Shop and Cannibis, $16 each. Some candles come in sets of 4, $25.

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Here’s how it works: After you fill out a form listing what scents (there are 110 to choose from) you like, staff will assist with blending oils for your own custom soy-based candle with cotton wicks, spa salts, body mist, or pure fragrance oil (see below) at the long scent bar, above. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  Votivo Black Box The Great Frame Up The Candle Fusion Studio St. Louis Relish Cards & Gifts MO Kay Oss Designs Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Crabtree & Evelyn Central Wes End Cassie's Scents Cassie's Amy Johnson AG Jeans

It takes about 1 1/2 hours for the hand-poured candles to set up, so there’s time to do some shopping in the neighborhood, and/or have lunch or dinner while you wait. The Candle Fusion Studio is also set up for parties such as bridal showers, birthday parties (for kids too), book clubs, etc. If there are over 5 in your party, call for reservations. A roomy classroom space, which was almost complete when I visited, should be ready for your friends to gather now. Visit the website for more information.

The Candle Fusion Studio, 4742 McPherson Avenue, (314) 250-2272, Mon -Thurs., 11 to 8, Fri.-Sat., 11 to 9.

At jeni’s:

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From left: Extra-Bitter Hot Fudge Sauce, $12; Intelligentsia House Blend Coffee (roasted in Chicago), $14; Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream, $12/pint; Flavor Mugs, $11; Merry Dairy pins in collaboration with Valley Cruise, $5; Jeni Britton Bauer’s jeni’s splendid ice creams at home, $15, won a James Beard Award in 2012.

jeni’s, 389 N. Euclid, (314) 367-1700, Sun. – Thurs., Noon to 10 p.m., Fri. to Sat., Noon to 11 p.m, Xmas Eve. Noon to 5 p.m.

Next up: the final shopping post of the 2016 Holiday Season.