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We can?t fathom a mother who wouldn?t love the olive-oil soap made in-house at Abbey Brown Soap Artisan, the West Loop bath-and-gift shop where we spent ten minutes breathing in the various scents before finally settling on a bar of ?Pear Up? ($6.50).

Completely natural and gentle for sensitive skin, the olive-oil soaps are a signature product at this neighborhood fixture. A recent revamp of the store?s interior includes new displays that encourage shoppers to customize their own aromatherapy oils and scents for ?silk milks? and salt soaks; the updated design also allows more space for the popular soap-making classes held in both the front room and the kitchen. 

In addition to its own delicious-smelling soaps and bath products, Abbey Brown also celebrates artisans it admires by stocking a wide-ranging selection of products: pretty cards from stationers Fresh Frances and Occasionally Speaking, maple syrup from Ontario?s Apple Top Farm, chemical-free Chick nail polish ($9) and more.

Unique, prettily packaged gift for mom? Check.  

Abbey Brown Soap Artisan, 1162 W. Grand Ave.; 312-738-2290 or

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