Joy by Jean Patou

Your grandmother’s favorite perfume has a warped sense of humor. Joy was said to be created as a reaction to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and managed to be for a long time one of the most expensive perfumes on the market. Yet it was then and is still a bestseller, because it is the most distinctive animalic floral out there.

Joy opens with a warm peachy rose and jasmine bouquet. It’s very strong and sexy in a fitted rabbit coat kind of way. Be careful where you spray or wear Joy, because it will fill the room with a kind of anachronistic old Hollywood set mood that will be awkwardly misplaced on the wrong person. Joy is best worn by someone with a poised but very present personality who is noticed every time she enters the room.

Joy’s big bouquet takes a little while to fill out with musks, and those musks in no way overshadow the bright, joyous feel. But the musks add intellect and depth of character to Joy, not an undertone of sexual tawdriness. That being said, Joy is more a sister of Mitsouko than Divine, but Mitsouko is the somber one and Joy has nothing but good news.

I think Joy is also ubiquitous enough to smell familiar to most people. I bought it because I recognized the smell from one of my scented pony figurines from childhood. I am certain that my grandmother had a bottle as well. the good news is that by most accounts Joy is still very recognizable, although it has undergone many reformulations since its debut. The older versions are said to have contained civet.

As in most fragrances, the parfum differs from the eau de toilette. Both have that same lush indolic rose/jasmine accord, but the parfum is heavier and much more ambery. Everything I said previously is amplified in the parfum and a little less pronounced in the EDT; it’s a bit peachier. Both are very strong though.

Joy is one of those fragrances that may be hard to wear, but never hard to like.

Perfumer: Henri Almeras
Price Range: Moderately Expensive eau de toilette/parfum, Very Expensive perfume
Recommended Occasion: Dressy
Release Year: 1930
My Rating: 10

Check out Scent of The Day’s review!

*Divine is a grainier, more buttery animalic floral.
*Mitsouko predates Joy by 11 years, and evokes a similar mood.

This entry was posted in Animalic, Jasmine, Musk, Old Classic, Rose and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Joy by Jean Patou

  1. formaggio says:

    It’s interesting to note the somewhat staid biographical associations many of us have with regard to Joy, when, in the perfume version, at least, Joy is so bold and bodily, as if this rose belonged to the animal kingdom.

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