Perfume Directory

Joy (1930)
by Jean Patou

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Joy information

Year of Launch1930
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 412 votes)

People and companies

HouseJean Patou
PerfumerHenri Alméras
PackagingLouis Sue
Parent CompanyShaneel Enterprises Ltd > Designer Parfums
Parent Company at launchJean Patou

About Joy

Joy is a feminine perfume by Jean Patou. The scent was launched in 1930 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Henri Alméras. The bottle was designed by Louis Sue

Joy fragrance notes

Reviews of Joy

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.
08th January, 2020 (last edited: 10th January, 2020)
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!)
09th August, 2019
The legendary Patou Joy (1930) is one of the most-praised perfumes in the canon of classic Jean Patou fragrances, and being far before the time of the revered Jean Kerleo as house perfumer for Patou, it does sometimes get mistakenly lumped into his work portfolio by casual fans since he made the most prolific mark on the house in modern times with his mastery of the chypre accord. Henri Alméras was the nose behind this and all Patou scents through until the mid 20th century, but unlike many of his creations, Joy has endured far beyond its time. This perfume often gets compared to Chanel No. 5 (1921) for having a similar aldehyde floral structure and slightly animalic chypre base, futher bolstered in the public memory as a prized perfume worn by the late former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, becoming No. 5's only real rival for many years, but I find the differences far more stark between them than that especially in the final dry down of both fragrances. Joy also gets touted alongside No. 5 as one of the most expensive-to-make perfumes in existence (or -the- most expensive depending on which house you ask), adding to the legendary allure among perfumistas for whom such criteria is enough to matter in a purchasing decision. The main theme of Joy is to be an aldehydic white floral, and as such has a great deal less complexity than the comparable No. 5, but achieves a balance between the brightness of its opening, the indole of its heart, and the animalic growl of the base, that you may forget the "whiteness" of the floral core altogether.

Bergamot and peach open Joy, taking a page from Guerlain Mitsouko (1919) and soaking in the aldehydes of Chanel, but to a lesser extent. The calyx and leaves of the rose are used along with rose absolute itself, giving a "whole rose" kind of smell you only get by sniffing the flower. Jasmine indole and fleshy tuberose creep up before long, but a white floral backing choir of muguet, iris, ylang-ylang, and orchid help keep Joy from bearing too much leg. The base is a musky oakmoss base expected from the pyramid, with civet and sandalwood adding a dab of dry creamy sourness to keep Joy straddling the line of bridal and brothel. Joy is a far more playful and casual experience than No. 5, but neither would seem so to modern noses not trained on historic perfume styles. Joy is truly a joyful perfume, happy and bouncy, effervescent with aldehydes and peach sparkle, then pretty, inviting, and just a tad flirtatious especially when found on skin. Joy came in a dizzying array of concentrations and formats like so many of these "Great Dame" perfumes of the 20th century, but the differences fluxate less between them than many of the same format variations found among peers. The extrait is obviously denser and fruitier,with fuller peach and indolic notes. The Eau de Parfum is all about the soft roses and jasmine interplay with the creamy semi-animalic base while the Eau de Toilette is thinner with sharper citrus and white floral notes. Long-gone "Eau de Joy" variants (different from modern EdT) had more noticeable civet and sandalwood alongside moss, and feel a bit funkier, but some of that may be maceration.

Joy also seemingly has a problem very similar to Guerlain Shalimar (1925), in that it was targeted by other houses as a baseline style for their own entries into perfume. Shalimar became the "makeup" smell much like Coty L'Origan (1905), while every drugstore perfumer needed a copy of Joy on the shelves, a fate spared to No. 5 due to its impossible complexity. Avon Topaze (1959) likely came closest to a blue-collar iteration of something like Patou Joy, but with more of a yellow floral feel and bitter moss finish. With the house of Jean Patou constantly on life support and changing hands numerous times throughout the years, it is amazing that Joy has consistently stayed in production and also consistently stayed not only high-quality but high-priced during so much tumult, but this just speaks volumes of the enduring appeal of Joy if anything, since the perfume still finds new wearers despite its long time on the market. Young women without a perspective beyond what the shills at the mall tell them might see this as a perfume for mom or even grandma, but the kind of soft-spoken sophistication and self-assurance Joy inspires, combined with its approachable nature within the context of this kind of traditional floral genre, makes it a gateway of sorts to the larger world of perfume, even if it doesn't quite have the unisex flexibility that Shalimar and No. 5 have picked up over the years due to that nature. Still, this is a classic that every perfume lover needs to experience. Thumbs up.
16th May, 2019
I really wasn't a fan at all, I got it because both Tippi Hedren and Jackie Onassis wore it. It was way too powdery for my liking to be honest. But the good thing about it is that the packaging was beautiful.
29th August, 2018
Stardate 20170806:

Current version:
A floral of bygone era. Lots of white flower and indoles. Aldehyde. No civet.
Aldehydes are the right amount here (not crazy like No 5).
A great solid juice.
06th September, 2017
The Patou fragrances I've tried, Pour Homme, Pour Homme Prive, Eau de Patou, 1000, and Joy, have been fantastic. Joy is a big floral with plenty of character. I think it comes from a combination of the flower concentrates and a dash of animalics. I'm sampling from a pre-2000 version, I believe.

Looking at the listed notes, peach, jasmine, tuberose, musk, and civet sound right to me.
21st May, 2017

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VINTAGE Sealed JOY DE JEAN PATOU PARIS 15 ML 1/2 OZ 15ml 1967-70 Original Pkg

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