Fragrant Shopping


Swanning into the Urban Zen ( lifestyle boutique on East Dean Street is to enter a soothing aroma cocoon.

By Amanda Rae February 1, 2015 Published in the Midwinter/Spring 2015 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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Image: Matt Suby

That smell has a name—“Thieves,” a medley of plant-based essential oils including clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus—and it is one of many comfort-wares that lure passersby into Donna Karan’s seasonal pop-up in the Residences at the Little Nell.

Named for four rascals who apparently discovered a Black Plague preventive in seventeenth-century France, the antibacterial elixir is said to remedy headaches, digestion problems, and depression. It’s also a signature perfume for Karan, the fervent humanitarian and legendary designer who’s long been in the boys’ club alongside Calvin and Ralph.

At $65, a bottle of Thieves may be the smallest extravagance for sale here, where elegant tobacco-leaf vases handcrafted by Haitian artists (who reap 100 percent of proceeds) sit alongside accoutrements spanning pillows to chandeliers, DK’s personal line of plush, fluid basics, and sleek-rustic furniture that includes a $55,000 industrial steel-and-glass desk designed by Israeli virtuoso Ilana Goor.

But as Urban Zen’s holistic philosophy seeks to indulge positive energy in both home and spirit, the shoppers’ sanctuary hosts free evening meditation, too, every Tuesday evening at 6:15. Should the temporary space continue permanently, future plans will include the integrative therapist training programs that exist at Urban Zens in New York and L.A.

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