Scentings is a small company specializing in handcrafted aromatherapy products with charming packaging and literary themes. Two of Scentings’ essential oil blends, Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet, are inspired by the heroines of Jane Austen’s novels. I’ve tried Elizabeth Bennet, named for the leading lady of Pride and Prejudice; it’s an all-natural mix of clary sage, palmarosa, ylang-ylang, lavender and bitter orange.
My first impression of this blend is the earthy, slightly musky clary sage — clary sage has plenty of personality, and it tends to dominate a bit here, so you’ll need to like clary sage if you’re going to love this blend. However, it is lightened by the floral-herbaceous lavender note, a citrusy edge of orange peel, and the warm, woody-floral palmarosa. The various oils or notes are combined smoothly, so that the result is a sophisticated blend, with a certain amount of depth from the more intense ingredients. Overall, the scent feels relaxing yet strengthening.
If I were to pair this scent with a moment from the book that inspired it, I’d think back to this passage from the novel’s seventh chapter. In this scene, Lizzie walks from her home in the village of Longbourn to the nearby estate of Netherfield Hall, her mood and her movement unaffected by the mud and wetness left by a recent rainstorm:
…Elizabeth continued her walk alone, crossing field after field at a quick pace, jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity, and finding herself at last within view of the house, with weary ankles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise.
For me, the definitive adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is the BBC television series of 1995, so when I read this passage I can only picture actress Jennifer Ehle cheerfully tramping through rain-damp grass under a sunny sky, on her way to visit her new neighbors (and their haughty guest Mr. Darcy). Scenting’s Elizabeth Bennet oil suits my mental picture quite well, since it’s earthy but shot through with brightness.
Scentings offers its Elizabeth Bennet in two formulations: Perfume Silk (essential oils in a base of coconut oil) and a more concentrated Jewelry Oil to be worn in an accompanying scent-necklace. The Perfume Silk is offered in a deep-blue glass bottle with a roll-on dispenser. The Jewelry Oil is packaged in a similar dropper bottle and is meant to be applied to small limestone beads that are then placed inside the openwork silver pendant, which acts as a small diffuser. The set, enclosed in a book-shaped box with two pretty lavender sachets, would make sweet gift for a friend who loves Austen and enjoys natural fragrance or aromatherapy.
Scentings’ Elizabeth Bennet Luxury Set ($79) includes a dropper bottle of Jewelry Oil (10 ml), a roll-on bottle of Perfume Silk (10 ml), a silver-plated aroma-charm pendant on a silver-plated chain, two limestone beads to use inside the pendant, and two decorative fabric sachets filled with lavender. The Perfume Silk is also sold individually ($18).