Jean Patou (1930)

Average Rating:  103 User Reviews

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Joy by Jean Patou

Fragrance Overview Where to Buy Reviews Community Ownership

About Joy by Jean Patou

People & Companies

Jean Patou
Fragrance House
Henri Alméras
Louis Sue
Packaging / Bottle Design

Joy is a women's perfume launched in 1930 by Jean Patou

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Joy by Jean Patou

There are 103 reviews of Joy by Jean Patou.

I inherited an older, nearly full bottle (not THE black bottle), probably from late 1980 or early 1990's,no idea. Had always read the description and thought it too"frou frou" for me.
Did a 'at home' trial run today and... kind of like it. It is a more floral scent than I usually wear, but it quickly seemed to become.."cozy" and we got along after that. Not something I'll wear everyday, but a lovely memory and, although I understand frequently reformulated, still a nice scent. New lesson: don't assume new is better.

1991 EDT.

Opens with Peach Adelhydes and full blown Jasmine with a touch of Quality Tuberose.Tiny dash of Civet to background and offers a little animalic. At times I thought a musk mixed with the Civet offered a skanky canvas, which sets a blooming, highlighted and stunning Rose. The Quality Sandalwood softens and butters. It's obvious that all ingredients are of superb quality.
Now I am ready to explore different Vintages and strengths of this Gem.

*This review is of the vintage original formula of Joy with only reference to the current formulation, solely for comparison.

Joy (vintage) opens with slightly sparkling nose tingling aldehydes, with deep, smooth peach coupled with supporting rose and carnation florals before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the aldehydes vacate, replaced by moderately powdery ylang-ylang that joins remnants of the peach now taking a supporting role as the carnation infused rose takes the fore in a big way. During the late dry-down the rose remains, now co-star to a musky-woody accord in the base through the finish. Projection is average, as is longevity at around 9 hours on skin.

The house of Jean Patou has an amazing history. In my mind the house belongs right beside the all-time greats. That said, a good deal of the house's prestige occurred during the tenure of Jean Kerleo as its great master perfumer. While the more recent praise is wholly warranted, the house was churning out winners all the way back in the early to mid 1900's, and Joy by Henri Almeras is a fine example of its early success. Joy is a stunning amalgamation of peach-laced sparkling aldehydes and rose, carnation and ylang-ylang natural smelling airy florals with just the right amount of powder that never goes over-the-top. The carnation may actually not be in the composition at all, but certainly the way the rose combines with the peach and ylang-ylang gives off a distinct carnation-like accord that smells incredible. I have heard from many that this is a great example of jasmine in perfume, but alas I must be anosmic to whatever the perfumer used (or my skin is just eating it up), because I really don't get any to speak of, with the rose dominating on my skin. No matter, the composition fares just fine without it. As a quick aside, my bottle of Joy is an early vintage, but I purchased a sample of the current formula just to see how the perfume held up... Wearing the two side-by-side, the current formula lacks some of the depth of the rose found in the vintage, but the two smell quite similar through the mid-section. The big difference is with the performance. The current stuff disappears after about five hours, not displaying much of a base, whereas the vintage has much better staying power. The bottom line is the $65 per 50 ml on the aftermarket Almeras composed vintage Joy may not quite reach Kerleo's latter heights for the house, it certainly is a fine example of perfumery in its own right earning an "excellent" 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5 rating and a easy recommendation to classic rose lovers in particular.

Henri Alméras pulled out all the stops when he created Joy. It was possibly the lushest fantasy ever coaxed from a perfume organ.

Joy is a huge bouquet of jasmin and rose on a pale soft blancmange, highlighted by bergamot, lilac and aldehydes give a jewel-like sheen.

Joy is narcissistic bling, a sparkling cocoon to insulate the rich from the harsh realities of the 1930's. It was the brainchild of the couturier Jean Patou, his defiant or even reckless dream was to create the 'most expensive perfume in the world' and hence - the most luxurious one.

Driven by Patou's obsession, and freed-up by his deep pockets, Alméras thought big.

It looks like he based Joy on Chanel No5, a model that was equal in stature to Patou's grandiose vision. But No5 was only the starting point. Alméras poured huge quantities of rich naturals into his lush but abstract formula; because, for Patou, basing their magnum opus on No5 was not only a question of hubris, it was good business sense. The Chanel was a clear market leader at the time and to outdo it would take something quite exceptional in both quality and style.

The gamble paid off. Alméras was - vindicated and Patou made a packet. The public were ravished by Joy, which - despite the price tag - became a sensation. For a long time it was the second best seller in the world - after you know what...

And the reason for that was; Joy was not only the most expensive perfume in the world, it was also a masterpiece.


I love Joy on summer nights. It smells like a sweet Jasmine vine overhead, climbing in the pergola and opening in the dark. Joy feels like a soprano holding the high note so beautifully you swoon. Joy is sweet, strong and almost sharp green but it doesn't hurt. It dries down and reveals a bit of dirt and baseness, a "bat squeak of sexuality"(Brideshead Revisited). A very adult, very experienced sexuality waits under the heavy precise white flowers. I have worn Joy in all of its forms off and on since 1989. I used to walk through a department store on the way to work in college so that I could use the tester when I couldn't afford to buy it yet. When I married I wore different scents (Chloe, Chanel No. 5, Mitsouko, and Oscar) because my husband's mother also wore Joy, and I felt strange about it. But eventually, I gave in.

After falling very hard for 1000, I knew I had to try Joy. And, now that I have, I find that I do appreciate this scent and its creation and history, but I have very minimal desire to actually wear it. It's simply TOO much for me in every way: too floral-laden, too rose-y, too heavy and "thick," and much too traditionally feminine.

I would love to smell this on a young, very butch tomboy because the dissonance would be wonderful--but on a 40-something female from Dallas with bleached blonde hair and lots of gold jewelry...well, it would seem simply stereotypical and uninteresting.

(Nothing against Dallas, y'all!)

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