The Lady Sybil of Bernshaw Tower, a fair maid of high rank but evil repute, turned into a white doe after making a strange compact with the devil. Rich, young, and beautiful, her desires were still unsatisfied and she longed for supernatural powers, so that she might take part in the witches’ Sabbath. At this time, Lord William of Hapton Tower (a member of the Townley family) was a suitor for Lady Sybil’s hand, but his proposals did not meet with her approval. In despair, he decided to consult a famous Lancashire witch called Mother Helston, who promised him success on All Halloween. In accordance with her instructions he went hunting and at a short distance from the Eagle’s Crag, a milk-white doe started from behind the thicket, and he found it impossible to capture the animal. His hounds were wearied and he returned to the Crag, almost determined to give up the chase, when a strange hound joined his pack. Then a fresh start was made, and the strange hound, Mother Helston’s familiar, captured the white doe. That night an earthquake shook Hapton Tower to its foundations and in the morning the white doe appeared as the fair Lady Sybil, who had been fleeing from her suitor in animal shape. Thus Lord William married the heiress of Bernshaw Tower, but a year later she renewed her diabolical practices and not until she lay near death was it possible for Lord William to have the devil’s bond cancelled, which he did by enlisting the holy offices of a neighboring priest. After her death Bernshaw Tower was deserted and tradition says that on All Halloween, the hound and the milk-white doe meet on the Eagle’s Crag, where Lady Sybil lies buried, and are pursued by a spectre huntsman in full chase.
Graceful, regal, elegant, and cursed: golden sandalwood and liquidambar, cardamom, coconut milk, jasmine sambac, white petal rosewater, and labdanum.