Little Rubs and Disappaointments

“There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.” Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Smells like Jane Austen

Image of the perfume stick of Longbourn by Latherati Soap.

I am a big fan of perfumes, scented oils, candles, and anything else that smells good and has some kind of theme or idea attached to it. It should be no surprise, then, to discover there are quite a few perfumes, soaps, and oils that can help you feel like you’re a part of Austen’s world whether drawing from the Regency era or inspired by.

Below are some of the scents you can buy to get you in the Austen mood.

Pemberley: A Jane Austen Inspired Perfume by Immortal Perfumes ($30+)
The notes are rosewood, coriander, cedarwood, honeysuckle, hyacinth, peony, and vetiver. The scent is best described as sweet and floral.

Longbourn by Latherati Soap  ($12)
The scent is best described as sweet honeysuckle & tart lemon mellowed and warmed by amber, tonka bean and musk.

The Jane Austen Solid Perfume Palette by Latherati Soap ($16)
Six samples of the following scents:

  • Barton Cottage – rose, violet & lily of the valley sit on a bed of green ivy with fruity notes of juicy raspberry & sweet yellow pear grounded in patchouli, caramel, white vanilla and sandalwood
  • Hartfield – ripe strawberries mingle with orchid, jasmine, muguet & violet and a touch of plum, musk & vanilla
  • Longbourn – honeysuckle with green leafy grass notes smoothly blended with zesty lemon and herbal undertones immersed in tonka bean and musk
  • Mansfield – a cup of red clover tea marbled with sweet baby roses and earthy sandalwood
  • The Abbey – soothing lavender floating on a base of cedarwood, rosewood, cardamom, warm amber, vetiver and tonka bean.
  • The Cobb – marine, ozone & sea spray with whispers of jasmine, freesia, lily, citrus and wood grounded by the slightest hint of musk

Latherati Soap has an extensive collection of perfumes, lotions, bath salts, and soaps inspired by Austen.

Jane Austen Perfume Collection by Wicked Good Perfume  ($14.95)
Another sampler based on Austen’s six novels. Each perfume is paired with a quote from the book it is named after and is “Impeccably packaged in a commanding book cloth covered print.”
The scents are:

  • Sense & Sensibility – ‘Sense will always have attractions for me’ – Scented with earl grey, vanilla and lavender.
  • Pride & Prejudice – ‘Happiness of marriage is entirely a matter of chance’ – A mysterious blend of exotic, spicy pomegranate, wild bergamot, dewberry, iris, jasmine; followed by spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, with base notes of precious woods and cedar.
  • Persuasion – ‘What is right to be done cannot be done too soon’ – Frankincense, myrrh, patchouli and warm, powdery sandalwood
  • Emma – ‘There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart’ – A delicate tea rose with nuances of green and powder.
  • Northanger Abbey – Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothing’ – Tea at the Abbey. Berry sorbet, vanilla and lemon ice infused with Kombucha tea create an addictively refreshing impression with an Asian twist.
  • Mansfield Park – ‘There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort’ – Top notes of pear and a hint of raspberry are blended with mid notes of osmanthus, vanilla, cinnamon, and clove, on a base of redwood, cedarwood, sandalwood, and light musk.

Mrs. Bennet’s Anxiety Balm by Little Bits(LBCC Historical) ($10)
Little Bits has an extensive collection of make-up and perfumes that replicate make-up from the Regency era or is inspired by Austen.

Elizabeth Bennet by The Little Book Eater
The notes are white tea, apricot, nutmeg, ginger, and gardenia. The scent is best described as sweet and floral. The Little Book Eater also has a few other scents available in the vein of Austen.

You can check out more scents at Etsy!


*Prices subject to change

Austen Weekly: Mansfield Park chapters 1-3

(ed: Sorry, I had to do a lot of Real World™ stuff today so this post is a bit late!)

Title: Mansfield Park
Author: Jane Austen
Edition: Kindle

As I said last week, I wanted to start a weekly read along mainly to re-read Jane and I cannot remember the last time I read Mansfield Park so it seems as good of time as any to bump her up the reading pile.

I also choose Mansfield Park as the first read as it seems to be the least read / discussed book and there doesn’t seem to be any, and I may be wrong, modern adaptations of this novel either in print or film form. (This is not to say there isn’t any in the huge world of Jane Austen fan fiction (JAFF) as if there can be a Pride and Prejudice and Doctor Who mashup, anything is possible.)

Summary: In chapter one we meet the three sisters: Lady Bertram, Mrs. Price, and Mrs. Norris and learn about their backgrounds. One marries for money (Lady Bertram), one marries for love (Mrs. Price), and one marries for, well, neither (Mrs. Norris). In chapter two, Fanny is introduced and sent to Mansfield Park where she meets the Bertram family, especially Edmund. The Bertrams neither hate or are enthralled with Fanny — they do not mean to be unkind but they treat her with indifference, “Fanny was good-natured enough.” In chapter three we learn more about the Bertrams, Mrs. Norris, and the state of their economies.

  1. Mrs. Norris takes great pains to be shown as benevolent and kind, yet she is indeed a very emotionless person. “Under this infatuating principle, counteracted by no real affection  for her sister, it as impossible for her to aim at more than the credit of projecting and arranging so expensive a charity;…”
  2. Mrs. Norris, it’s noted, married financially poorly and saves her income to live a comfortable life only to continue to save and pinch her funds and takes no thought to affording anything though she very well can.
  3. Fanny’s “ignorance” is implied when she does not have the breadth of education the Bertram children have — “How strange! — Did you ever hear anything so stupid?” Here, Austen is clearly showing how the class divides by education: Poor are ignorant for they cannot afford schooling while the rich are highly intelligent because they can afford an education.
  4. Lady Bertram is described as a lazy thing who gives very little thought of her children and more to her dog. How would this have affected her relationship with Fanny and Fanny’s relationships with the Bertram children?
  5. Edmund is to become a clergyman it’s interesting his countenance is a mixture of all three of the sister’s husbands: The money from his father, the duty like his uncle the pastor, and the kindness of Fanny’s father before he took to the drink. Austen created her hero out of the best qualities of all three men — why?
  6. More conversation on Mrs. Norris and her, um, particular disdain for actual kindness which we learn when the Bertrams discuss sending Fanny to live with Mrs. Norris only find said Norris will have none of that — her nerves are too shattered after the death of her husband. Right.

My take: Austen throws a lot in these three chapters which at first glance doesn’t seem to be more than just introductions and laying out the plot but I began to pick up very subtle themes as I went along like the undercurrent with Lady and Lord Bertram’s relationship which is more complicated than outrightly stated. I must confess I have always thought Edmund and Fanny’s relationship was a bit wet and my heckles are getting raised three chapters in how right I am but here’s to hoping Austen can change my mind.

Introducing Austen Weekly — A Weekly Read Along Club

When I announced to Mr. Lisa I was putting together a Jane Austen blog, he gave me that look as if to say I didn’t get enough Austen as it is. He then questioned how often I read her works since he’s never actually seen me pick up and read one of her novels (this is the same man who said he had no idea I had a stack of books on my side of the bed) and then went on to say my love of Austen came from strictly from the movies.

Well, no. As I mentioned on my about page, I have no idea when I started reading our Jane but I have been reading the six published works every couple of years. (I will not tell a lie and say I have finished Lady Susan, The Watsons, and Sandition, and etc though I do own copies of each.) I thought, in the beginning of designing the content for the blog, one of the things I want to do is hold a weekly read along club for each of Austen’s novels to always keep her work fresh.

I have the best ideas.

(I’ll be reviewing Austen paraliterature but Austen’s books themselves will be the read alongs.)

I decided to start with poor Mansfield Park as this, in my humble opinion, tends to be the least talked about of our Jane’s work. While I do feel it’s the weakest of Jane’s work and lacks the oomph of her other novels, it still deserves our love. People love Northanger Abbey for its gothic parody. Of course, Pride & Prejudice as if we could forget. Emma helped along by the movie Clueless, and Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility always seem to rank as favorites.

According to my Penguin Classics copy, there are 47 chapters in Mansfield Park with roughly 10 or so pages per chapter. It would take us nearly a year to finish the book if we did a chapter a week so I’m going to up it to three chapters a week and may adjust as we move along.

Join me every Monday as we read Mansfield Park! It would be most delightful if you were here.