Jean Patou Joy ~ perfume review

Jean Patou Joy fragrance

When I first smelled Jean Patou Joy, I thought, “What’s the big deal?” Here was an iconic fragrance, reputedly the most expensive perfume in the world (this was before Clive Christian hit the scene), and Jackie O’s favorite. To me, though, Joy smelled ho-hum. Sure, it wasn’t offensive, but it didn’t excite, either.

Well, I was crazy. Now I recognize Joy for what it is: a classic, womanly, gorgeously balanced scent. It is the olfactory equivalent of a 1950s Dior dinner suit — flattering, adaptable, and luxurious down to its hand-basted seams.

Henri Alméras created Joy in 1930, just after the stock market crash that launched the Great Depression. The story goes that in response to the dark mood that settled over the western world, especially the United States, Jean Patou directed Alméras to create an extravagant perfume. Alméras complied, and Joy’s hallmark is the 28 dozen roses and 10,600 jasmine flowers that go into every ounce of extrait. Architect Louis Süe designed Joy’s emerald-cut bottle.

According to Osmoz, Joy’s top notes are aldehydes, peach, and leafy green. Its heart is rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, and tuberose; and its base is sandalwood, musk, and civet. In the Eau de Toilette and the Parfum, the notes unroll differently. The Eau de Toilette starts with a fizzy, stemmy neroli, then a few minutes later bursts into roses tangled with full-bodied but fresh jasmine. The Eau de Toilette stays close to the skin once it dries down and fades into dull roses and a vague warmth after a few hours. But overall, Joy Eau de Toilette feels bright and, well, joyous.

The Parfum, on the other hand, builds on the Eau de Toilette’s lighthearted theme to remind us that real joy is beautiful, calm, and lush, and may be most deeply appreciated by people who know that true pleasure isn’t as simple as it seems. The Parfum’s opening isn’t as crisp as the Eau de Toilette’s, and its heart of luscious roses and jasmine is richer. But the biggest difference between the Eau de Toilette and Parfum is in the dry down. The Parfum’s base is surprisingly spicy and animalic. Joy Parfum seamlessly morphs from a complex floral explosion to something darker, and unless you already knew Joy, you might not recognize the dry down and the heart as the same fragrance.

Despite closing in on 80 years old, Joy doesn’t smell particularly retro. In fact, although Joy might be a natural for a woman who knows her way around a Ferragamo, I’d love to smell it on a tattooed cocktail server in a smoky bar. Joy has a depth that complicates its otherwise straightforward beauty. Modern takes on Joy’s theme, such as Lorenzo Villoresi Donna, smell thin and simple in comparison.

If, like me, you tried Joy once a long time ago and weren’t overly impressed, it’s time to give it another go. The good new is that with all the ultra-luxe perfumes coming out these days, Joy is no longer even close to the most expensive perfume on the market.

Jean Patou Joy is widely available in department stores and at discounters online, and it comes in bottles as varied as thousand dollar Baccarat crystal to 6 ml purse sprays.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I've never smelled Joy – don't I feel left out, huh? What AM I waiting for?

    Well I'm not really a fan of aldehydes and only certain scents contain them that I love (White Linen, for instance).

    Great review and love the part about Joy not necessarily being the most 'expensive perfume in the world' anymore. Something tells me, Mr. Christian will probably be usurped by some other new fangled luxury brand soon. [yawn]

    • sheltisebastian says:

      Don’t worry you are not missing much! To the people who love Joy I respect you, but to me I can not understand how any women, or man could stand to wear it. With one spray the smell of rose is enough to knock you off your feet, and you might want to have some headace medicine on had. Its like walking into a funeral parlor where all the flowers are roses. Again it is know that Chanel 5 is the number one seller. The house of Chanel is way more famous. Jean Patou, fashion house has been closed for OMG ever and the name almost forgotten. You Procter and Gamble bought Jean Patou perfumes, as the family where to poor to keep it up.

      Now that I have had my say on Joy, I have to admit that the following Patou fragrances are nice, 1000, sublime, amour amour, forever patou.

      Please done’t think I am Jean Patou hater I just link some of the Patou fragrances are better.

      This again is from the point of a man!

      • Angela says:

        I love it that you have such strong opinions about perfume! You obviously like perfume and know it well.

        • sheltisebastian says:

          Hi Angela

          Yes I love perfume. As a boy growing up I smelled Chanel No.5 everyday on my grandmother. When I would go into the house I could follow the smell of No.5 till I found her. I also loved the scent.

          Sometimes I am a little agressive about perfumes etc.
          Sheltisebastian is my screen name on aol lets talk about fragrances!

      • dee says:

        This is late, but i feel compelled to reply. I am no fashionista, and even less of a perfumista, but I do recall that Mme’s owes her legacy largely to her business acumen and a fair bit of ruthlessness as well as her artistic talent.
        I did read about a comparison between Chanel and some of her equally talented, equally well-regarded (during their era) contemporaries. Some of them went out of business because they insisted on paying workers a living wage and on more humane policies. Chanel didn’t and “survived”.
        Chanel was also extremely friendly to the Nazis which undoubtedly helped – and also created some backlash for her.
        Eventually, even Chanel itself fell out of fashion (after Mme’s death of course), but it was revitalized in time to catch the next great wave of consumerism and established itself firmly as a luxury house.

        So please don’t buy in too much to the fancy narratives that fashion houses use for their narratives. While videos of Keira Knightley roughing it out as an entrepreneurial Chanel is partly true, there’s often a dark side to a successful business.

        • dee says:

          *fancy narratives that fashion houses use for their advertisements and “documentaries””.

        • Angela says:

          What a timely comment! I’m reading Mademoiselle, a biography of Chanel, right now!

          One thing a lot of people don’t know is that the Chanel perfume line was (and is) owned by a Jewish family! It’s a complicated story, and supposedly Coco Chanel resented the family up until the moment she died, but during WWII, one of Chanel’s investors, a Jewish man, took over the perfume line. (He had an Aryan front man run it during the war to satisfy the Nazis.) Later, he bought controlling interest in the whole fashion house.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mike, please give Joy a try. I am one of those people who should have “no aldehydes' tattooed on my wrists, but Joy is one of my treasures.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for another great review of a classic aldehydic scent, Angela! I just recently tried Joy — a generous perfume friend who knew I was a rose lover gave me a sample — and I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Normally I don't feel like I can really smell the individual flowers in the classics, but there was no mistaking the bundles of jasmine and roses that leapt out once the top notes were done announcing “Expensive perfume right here!” It really was joyous. Still not quite me, but a something to live up to…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mike, don't let the aldehydes put you off at all! It doesn't have anything of the aldehydic top of Chanel No. 5, for instance. In fact, if you didn't know they were there, you might not guess it. Joy has so much depth and richness it really is a must-smell.

    As for Clive Christian, I just keep remembering the SA in the perfume dept at Bergdorf's who showed me CC's kitchens–he was a kitchen designer before he made perfume. They were all chandeliers and boiserie. No place to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

  5. Anonymous says:

    D, yes! Joy parfum moved straight to my top five.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What form did you try? The parfum is out of this world (although I do like the EdT a lot, too). I think Joy would be a great perfume for slumming, too. Perfect contrast.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I will butt in to 2nd that — Joy doesn't smell heavily aldehydic. The Classification Des Parfums et Terminologie classifies Joy as a “floral bouquet”, whereas Chanel No. 5 is classified as “Aldehydic floral”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great review, Angela! Joy, as you know, is one of my favorites– so classic and lovely. Of all the perfumes I have, Joy has the most memories attached to it– travel, France, etc, making it even more special for me. Whenever I wear it, people ask what it is. They smell my arm and smile and get this dreamy look on their face. It's magic perfume, no doubt!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    hi Angela,

    I'm new to the perfumista's world and i've been obsessing about it for about a month now. I really appreciate this blog and the huge work robins does daily to update it. it's already become a staple in my day. I also wanted to thank you for your previous articles: i really enjoyed your “confessions” as well as the leather sisters story.

    Thanks everybody for competence, passion and balance.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the sample of Joy you gave me was my re-introduction, and then I found a vintage bottle (unopened!) at an antiques mall and fell even more deeply in love. Have you tried the parfum? I bet you'd love it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful comment, thank you! You have a really fun ride ahead of you getting to know perfume. It really can become an obsession. It's fun to smell something, then come back a year later and smell it again with a more experienced nose.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I've only tried the EDT but have been meaning to seek out the others. I think I've hesitated because I have a feeling it'll be love at first smell– bad news for my wallet! :) You have the best luck with vintage finds– nice one with the Joy!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I know. Let's not even get started on the wallet…but when my ship comes in a bottle of Joy parfum will be mine!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I got married in Joy – wondering if anyone else reading NST has similar associations with it?

  15. Anonymous says:

    That's really funny. And sometimes you just *need* a grilled cheese sandwich.

    And this looks like something I need to try (although I am sort of worried that I might find I can't live without if, once I do).

  16. Anonymous says:

    Angela, I want to try Jean Patou's Joy, and now more than ever :-).

    Thank you for this so wonderful review remembering us why it is so important to know the history around this fragrance as well.

    I am going to make a list of all the beauties that I still want to smell try and live…

    Yesterday I was thinking of a fabulous Perfume Store named ” Now Smell This” and all our love for fragrances being there concentrated from the humble and not so humble NST-members together with 'The Board of NST'.

    WOW we could reach the stars..!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I can definitely imagine being married in Joy–the EdT for a spring or summer wedding, and the parfum for the winter.

    • momschlep says:

      Agreed….I am 55, have enjoyed Joy for more years than I care to count. I usually use the Eau de Toillette during the warmer months, and the parfum in the winter. WONDERFUL. Since it’s summer now, come on girls, give the (less expensive) Eau de T a try. You’ll become addicted.

      • Angela says:

        I have some of the EdT, and you’ve inspired me to wear it soon!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think lots of perfumistas overlook Joy because it's such a stalwart that how exciting could it be? But as Turin wrote in his old blog, Joy is one of the seven wonders.

    I wish you could have seen those ridiculous kitchens. They were so over the top that they had to be in houses where people have staff to cook, and yet what staff would want to cook in a chateau's music salon?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I have a list like that of perfume I want to try. Lots of things are crossed off and then others added, and some go to the Must Have a Bottle list.

    I love knowing the story of a scent, too. It adds to the enjoyment for me.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I knew that Joy was for me the moment I smelled it. I don't (or, rather, I can't!) wear it very often, but I do love its floral richness dearly.

    I have a 1/2 oz bottle of vintage pure perfume that I miraculously found at an antiques market for $25. Of course, when I got home, I prompty spilled half of it [sobs wildly. On the plus side, my bedroom carpet did smell marvelous for weeks!] but I still have 1/4oz left. It is a treasure.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mike, you really have to try Joy. Even in the EDT form (which is brighter and brasher than the perfume), it's almost certain to be the most perfect rose scent you can imagine. There are lots of different rose fragrances, and many of them are very good (I'm enjoying the big sample of Paul Smith Rose I got at Harrods last year, and I'm madly in love with Midnight Poison), but Joy is the apex.

  22. Anonymous says:

    One of the happiest days of my life was when I realized I was grown up enough to appreciate this scent. And I like the parfum for the same reason you outline — the spicy animalic aspect.
    Thanks for reviewing a classic scent that's sort of easy to overlook in its ubiquity. Always good to get folks to revisit those.

  23. Anonymous says:


  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh boy, I'm sobbing with you. What a score, though, to find Joy parfum at an antiques market! It's like finding an Hermes scarf at a yard sale.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The parfum really is terrific, and it is so easy to overlook some of the classics just because we hear their names so often. But in this case it's a classic for some very good reasons.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I definitely fall into that category of having tried it once or twice long ago, and then having forgotten about. I am highly inspired to re-visit it now, especially the perfume.

    My connotation of Joy is a piano teacher I had once long ago. I think she had a Russian background. She was very beautiful and very passionate, with an only alluded to past that included an Italian Count. She once told me that although she wore White Shoulders, Joy was her real passion. That never left me, although sadly much of my piano skills have! Still though, I hope she managed to find her passion eventually–to me, Joy will always be her perfume. :-)

  27. Anonymous says:

    This is a perfume I've been wanting to try for *ages* and your review finally prompted me to spend some £s at The Perfumed Court. So, I'm now awaiting delivery on a 1ml sample of the parfum – oh, and a sample of Tabac Blond and … er… Comme des Garcons Champaca just happened to fall in my basket whilst I was there. How on earth did that happen? *whistles innocently*

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh Pia, I love that story! That's the kind of story Joy should have hanging on it.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Three winners! I wear Tabac Blond all the time and adore it. It's definitely in my top five, too, along with Joy. I'd love to know what you think of it. I just tried the Champaca last week, and I really liked it, much better than the patchouli. If it weren't so expensive it would be on my Need a Bottle list.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Alas! I have a small bottle of Joy and find it turns on me in some strange fashion..probably the tuberose for which I have a sad, instant aversion. I found a little lotion as well and keep sniffing, hoping. But no… My loss!

  31. Anonymous says:

    What a shame. Skin chemistry is so mysterious. I bet, though, you could swap your bottle for something pretty nice…

  32. Anonymous says:

    Ah. See, my nose is growing ever more refined (read: expensive) – I'm *such* a perfume snob :-D Funnily enough I ordered the CdG Patchouli sample from The Perfumed Court last month and it's just way WAY too much for me – and I like some pretty stand-up scents. This was just so gloopy and dark and treacly I felt overwhelmed. Damn. Now I've remembered the other sample I wanted to order – Shalimar EdP – I've only got the EdT and I really want to smell the difference. Must. Not. Buy. More. Samples…..

  33. Anonymous says:

    Well, if you're going to order the Shalimar EdP, why not go all the way and try the parfum? Or, better yet, save your money for the bottle of Tabac Blonde that you'll need once you smell the sample! (I love it, in case you can't tell.)

  34. Anonymous says:

    I have yet to smell Joy, but I will say that Patou's “1000” is heavenly-elegant, classy, womanly….very special. I have the Eau de toilette.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I have a little 1000 perfume that I hoard carefully, and I love it, too. It does feel elegant to me, but also strong and individualistic, which I like about it. Joy is a very different style of perfume, but also worth knowing, I think.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Great review, thanks. I'm ashamed to admit I didn't recognise great beauty when I first sniffed this. Probably in my floral dismissive days! Now I would buy a bottle of parfum in a heart beat were financial constraints to be loosened. I don't feel it to be aldehydic which probably helps although that particular obstacle seems to be tumbling also when I consider that I would also love to own First and Arpege!

  37. Anonymous says:

    With me it was love at first sniff. I couldn't believe it took me so long to try it. It is not available in my country, (nothing is), so I bought a bottle unsniffed and had it sent to me – OMG! I was immediately smitten. The thing about Joy is that it's so versatile – I've worn it to a picnic, parties, dances, dinners, and I've even worn it when I needed something to cheer me up. It's so bubbly and beautiful that it's impossible to be sad when wearing it. To me, it is the ultimate feminine fragrance, femininity at it's best and most elegant.

  38. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like you and I had (and have) the same reaction to Joy. At first we dismissed it, now we love it!

    I recently bought a tester of Arpege for a good price online, and I love it.

  39. Anonymous says:

    You describe Joy perfectly! It really is a versatile scent, and it's hard to imagine anyone who couldn't wear it and have it bring out some part of their personality–especially the parfum. What country are you in that you can't get Joy? It sure would be hard to love perfume and live somewhere where you can't get your hands on it easily.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I had the exact same reaction to Joy. At first I thought, “Yeah, okay, nice, smells like a classy old lady, whatever,” and dismissed it as nice but not worth the hype.
    Later, as I matured and my understanding of perfumes deepened, I tried it again and I got it. I understood what the fuss is about. It really is an incredibly rich, absolutely classic fragrance. I can't say I wear it often, but I do wear it, and I definitely appreciate the timeless quality of wearing it. When I wear Joy, I feel like things MUST be okay in the world. After all, I'm wearing an expensive, classic, French perfume, how bad can things be?
    Oh, and on the aldehyde front, I generally don't like them at all (I can't stand Chanel No. 5, no matter how much I try it or how sophisticated my nose gets), but I am genuinely unaware of any particular aldehydic “edge” in Joy. It's just all smooth, incredibly well balanced, softly alluring floral, with none of the sharp edges you find in so many aldehyde fragrances.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I live in Brazil. All we have are mainstream scents, and even those are astronomically overpriced. It's hugely frustrating to love perfume here, I have to wait to travel, or buy whole bottles and have them sent down, just so I can see if I like it. So, I usually wait until I travel – then I go nuts!!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hi. Go to; and try to buy miniatures of the scents that you want to try. At least you won't spend a huge amount of money on a full bottle of a scent you just can't seem to like.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I love the idea of coming home with a suitcase full of perfume!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Swapping for samples is a great way to try new things, too–but you probably already knew that.

  45. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like we had the same experience with Joy. I wonder how many others have? Joy's beauty isn't as flashy as that of a lot of fragrances out there, but when those scents have come and gone Joy will live on.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I admit: I love Joy! My favorite memory of Joy is when a little boy at school who had a crush on me stole/”borrowed” a miniature Joy parfum from his mother's stash and gave it to me. He swore his mother didn't want it any more and he wanted me to have it, but, looking back on it as an adult, I cannot imagine the mother not wanting it! I loved it then and I love it now! Every time I smell it, I get happy.

    On a tangent, I wanted to ask you all this anyway, and you have presented the perfect forum for it: Has anyone tried the Joy Body Creme and/or the shower gel? And, if so, what are your thoughts about the smell of either of them and how they interact with the EDP or the parfum? I don't know if I got an older jar of the body cream, etc., but mine is STRONG; overwhelming. It smells good at first, but then this overwhelming soapy smell takes over. I can literally TASTE the soapiness in the fumes when I breath it in. The shower gel is not much better. And, actually, to me, the body creme and the shower gel do not complement the EDP or parfum. It puts me in a quandry because I like to layer in fragrances with different pieces from the line, and I have dry skin, so I HAVE TO wear a body cream or something else to moisturize. I bought my body creme and shower gel from Ebay, so I am just hoping that maybe the pieces were old when I bought them and have a different smell than newer ones would. Otherwise, I will have to find a good, unscented body creme to wear when I wear the Joy parfum I have been salivating over that should be here any day (I already have the EDP).

    Any suggestions or comments? I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the review! A kind swapper sent me a few drops of Joy Parfum last year since it was on my wishlist to try. Since sniffing the vial I was afraid to try it. it smelled disappointingly ordinary and I was afraid I'd use it up and not 'get' it. After your review I decided today was the day. The opening did nothing to reassure me it was unique, but the drydown, oh my. It really started to get amazing with the mid notes. Thanks for prompting me to try it! I have perhaps one more application so now I have to go try to search it down….

  48. Anonymous says:

    Joy really is wonderful–and I love the story you have to go with it, which probably even makes it more wonderful for you.

    I haven't tried the body cream or shower gel, so I can't help you there. What a disappointment, though, that the body cream isn't nicer. Usually a body cream (as opposed to a lotion) has a really high percentage of perfume, which can make it decadently nice.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I feel the same way about the parfum–the middle and base are what really do it for me. It just takes the patience to try it on skin and wait a few minutes in order to be hooked!

  50. Anonymous says:

    What's the difference between Joy and Eau de Joy? I have seen people advertise them both as Joy. Are they the same?

  51. Anonymous says:

    I haven't seen Eau de Joy–although I haven't looked for it, either, I admit. Do you think they mean Joy Eau de Toilette? I'll have to look for Eau de Joy and try it if I find it.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Hey! After reading and participating in this blog, I bought an oz of Joy pure parfum on Ebay (you all should get a commission from the various houses for promotion :-)). This was my first Joy purchase ever (outside of a body cream and shower gel that had gone bad before I bought it, unbeknownst to me) and my first time wearing Joy in more than 20 years.

    I have a question: With the parfum, once it dries down, do you still smell it? I have had a sinus infection anyway and did not know if my nose is playing tricks on me or if this fragrance is really dying away that quickly. In hindsight and in reading the blog, I see that the EDT and, maybe the EDP seem to have a more “in your face” type of smell, while the parfum (if I am understanding correctly), seems to be more subdued. I think that I must have had the EDT or EDP all those years back because I remember a more pungent smell. As it turns out, I like the subdued smell of the parfum, but really don't know if I can still smell it hours after dry down.

    I would ask my husband if he could still smell it on me, but he couldn't care less :-). So, I thought I'd ask you all. Typically how long does Joy parfum last (the scent I mean)? I bought a bottle that had never been opened (gold string and waxed paper still intact). So, I don't think it is old, etc.


  53. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, the dry down is the best part! Sometimes the parfum version of a scent is more smooth and elegant and sort of “glows” rather than shouts a fragrance, and this is the case for Joy. (This isn't true with all parfums, though–Shalimar parfum, for instance, has wicked sillage.) I bet that once your sinus infection has cleared and you try the parfum you'll find it's like wearing a silk slip in that it's close to your body but definitely present. On me the parfum lasts a good 6 hours while the EdT is over pretty quickly.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Cool! Thanks so much! I know that with Diorissimo parfum, yes, it dries down nicely. It sort of “blends” with my skin/body at that point. It is as if the warmth of my body heat meshes with the smell and the fragrance and I become “one”. I am hoping this is the case with the Joy parfum; I think it will be. Thanks!

  55. Anonymous says:

    Hi D,

    I've only tried it the one time after reading this review, and I also found the drydown was wonderful and two drops of the perfume on my wrist lasted about eight hours & was pleasant the whole time. :) I've been meaning to track some down myself.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad you liked it and were able to try the parfum! I need to get a bottle, myself.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Sarah!

    So two drops did it for you, huh? The funny part is, after my sinus infection clears up, I might find that I am using waaay too much :-).

    Not to start a stampede, but the Ebay seller I bought from is WONDERFUL! Her sign on name is Alicen166 and she has one more 1 oz bottle. She has a Buy It Now price of $325, but I will tell you that (especially if you mention sign on name onomais, she will give you a real good deal). You can make a best offer. Let's just say that I bought a double-sealed, doubled boxed 1 oz pure parfum for a few dollars more than I would have paid for a .5 oz parfum retail. She has one more left.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Hi D,

    I only used two drops because I have just a few drops in a sample that a nice swapper sent me last year. I THINK you could get away with more of this, and I will probably wear more than that when I get some. My judgement of 'how much' isn't too good for most things though, because I wear perfume in a home office to please myself. Joy seemed pleasantly strong to me but it didn't seem like it would be offensive. But as I say– don't take my word on that. Lol.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Hi AngelaS,

    I've been shopping around but it'll definitely be awhile before I can get the parfum. Do you have an opinion of the EDP? Is it worth it, or should I hold out and get the parfum for a special occasion?

  60. Anonymous says:

    I don't know much about the EdP, although I do like the EdT a lot and I love the parfum. I've seen the parfum online (parfum1 is one example) for a decent price–about what a bottle of EdP can cost, so it's worth looking. And of course I believe that no perfume should be saved just for a special occasion–every day is special! But since the EdT is good, I'm tempted to say that the EdP is good, too. Are you able to swap for a sample to try it?

  61. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Angela! I couldn't afford this retail, (who could? Lol) but I've been searching around the perfume discounters and eBay. I was mostly looking at the tiny bottles of EdP just to have some– but if I wait until my anniversary I could justify one of the tiny Parfums. This stuff is wonderfully strong and I'd have to be in just the right mood so I wouldn't need much. I've been too busy to swap for awhile but I'm sure I could find some. But I think instead, I'll have to get both! Lol. Some EdP to tide me over, and plan for the parfum in a few months. I can't imagine EdP would be disappointing, especially if the EdT is nice. THANKS!

  62. Anonymous says:

    I have used mine every day since I bought it. I really like it. Now that my infection is clearing up, I will smell a whiff of it when I pass a fan or something. It smells nice.

    I also bought the body cream….again. I am having the same experience again. The body cream does not smell like nor does it compliment the parfum, although the body cream does smell nice. I bought it originally to put moisture into my dry skin. When the first jar didn't work, I started using sweet almond oil in my bath instead. It works well and does not have a smell. So, I think I will have to stick to sweet almond oil and leave the Joy body cream alone.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Hi this is my first post on this site. I am a major perfume lover who loves trying various scents. I also recently began collecting vintage perfume bottles.

    Anyway among my perfume collection I am happy to say last year I got a bottle of Joy off Ebay for only $30. It truly is a classic with a unique scent that lasts a long time. I enjoy it for day or evening and I sometimes also like to spray perfume on me before I go to bed. I get complimented on it often and highly recommend it!


  64. Anonymous says:

    Welcome, and thanks for posting! Isn't Joy great? I can't believe I wasn't knocked off my feet the first time I smelled it, but at least I'm glad my nose has improved!

  65. Anonymous says:

    I was knocked off my feet too the first time I smelled Joy on me. For the first few seconds it has a citrus scent like lemon almost but then it settles onto your skin and becomes much more floral and soothing. I am so glad I got it for such a bargain price and it promises to last a long time as it is over 3 ounce bottle. I wore it to bed just last night and it helped relax me to sleep so nicely!


  66. Anonymous says:

    An acquired taste, like all fine things.

    If you don't know better, it is just too much.

    Until you know better. Then it is is Joy.

  67. Anonymous says:

    So poetic! And very apt.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I am in possession of an unopened pkg. containing Parfum JOY. I “inherited” it from a dear friend and I know it is quite old. The box is 4″x4″ and besides the nos. at the center bottom of the box, has an identifying no. stamped in the lower right hand corner. I have never worn JOY. Do I open it and try it or do I sell it and buy a sample to try??

  69. Anonymous says:

    If you love perfume and want a lasting memory of your friend (besides a really wonderful perfume), I say, open the box already!

    If, on the other hand, you aren't wild about perfume, make sure the box goes to a good home. Joy should go to those who love her. I'm very jealous of your inheritance.

  70. Anonymous says:

    The first time I ever smelled Joy, I exclaimed that this is what money smells like (esoterically).

    The next time I wore it, it fit as skin.

    Even now that P & G owns it, it is still worth a try.

    The rose ramps up to meet you and the jasmine spreads lush. A lovely calling card to leave in your wake or even on a shirt for remembrance later.

    A most powerful and romantic scent.


  71. Anonymous says:

    Well, it certainly sounds as if you have found your scent! It definitely is both powerful and romantic.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Read your comments – noted you are a vintage perfume bottle collector. Could you give me some idea of the value of two heavy glass Jean Patou Perfume Display Bottles – 30cms in height, flared skirt style design with gold lids, (made in France and Jean Patou) on bottom of bottles. They are beautifully attractive bottles and I have had them 37 years.

    With Thanks, Eliza.

  73. Anonymous says:

    This is a very elegant perfume to my opinion. It is subtle and charming from the top notes till the end. On the top notes I can feel aldehydes but they fade away in no time and the heart notes opens to me as a very pure, natural flowers. Its so pure that it looks I can see a flower in a green field. Its brings kind of green & white colour sensation. The base notes are nice, quiet, calm. I do have EDP bottle of Joy and I wish I had pure perfume.

  74. Anonymous says:

    It really is lovely, isn't it? I hope you get the chance to try the extrait someday. It sounds like you'll really like it.

  75. Anonymous says:

    Hi Eliza sorry I took so long to reply to you but I had some blog registration problems and had trouble getting back on til now. Anyway I not a huge expert on perfume bottles worth. Most of my information on all antiques I get from my cousin who owns her own antiques business. The most important factors in determining an antiques value are 3 things:

    1. The condition of the item (no scratches, marks, rust, stains, etc)

    2. The age of the item or how long ago it was manufactured.

    3. Most important though is how common is the item: If an item is made in limited quantity by the manufacturer or was only sold for a limited time, then the value can be enormous. But if the item was made in large quantities and is quite common, then the value is less.

    If you can, could you email me photos of your perfume bottles and any information you have on them. I can show them to my cousin and get an estimate value on them from her.

    Who knows? I might wind up buying them or she might be interested in them for her shop. We shall see.


  76. Anonymous says:

    I'd love to try Joy-it sounds simply lovely. I'm a bit worried that it may be a bit mature for me though. Is Joy an appropriate scent for a nineteen year old or is it just a smidge out of my age range for now?

  77. Anonymous says:

    It definitely feels like it was made in another time, but I think it would be brilliant on a 19-year old who dressed in an alternative way–say, slightly punk or goth. Still, it's a lovely perfume and worth keeping a sample around to smell until you decide you love it (or not).

  78. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Again! I have had the most wonderful, strange experience. I have dry skin, but, this season, it has been drier than I can ever remember. My regular moisturizers, body creams and lotions were not working. I had to resort to …..petroleum jelly. Yep, that's right; a thin, light coating of petroleum jelly to protect against dry skin. But, it has done the trick!

    A wonderful “side effect” that I have discovered is that the petroleum jelly seemed to enhance the smell of my Joy parfum. I can't explain it, but, the petroleum jelly seemed to make the Joy parfum “warm up” on my body. It also seemed to magnify the scent and to make it last longer.

    Just wanted to pass that along. If anyone knows WHY that is true, I would love to know. Thanks!

  79. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the petroleum jelly keeps your skin from soaking up some parts of Joy and so you're getting a truer reading of it? If you smell something on fabric rather than skin, it holds a different balance and I bet that's the same with your skin. Now I'm going to try it, too!

  80. Anonymous says:

    Great review , Joy creates that very feeling in me. I must get some pure perfume now .

  81. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy it! The perfume is truly heaven.

  82. Anonymous says:

    Help! I need help!

    The 1 oz bottle of Joy parfum that I just bought (as if I have more than one) is cracking a little, from the inside. It started around the bottle-neck part, dead down the center in the front. The crack has gotten to the top base portion, but, has not started going down the front of the bottle (it is currently positioned to started going down the “O” in “Joy” on the gold label).

    I take good care of my investment (for me, that is an investment). I keep the bottle in the gold box and then put the gold box back in the white and gold outer box. I don't know what could have happened. Maybe I accidentally pushed the stopper in too hard or something? I don't know.

    I cannot feel the crack from the outside of the bottle for right now. And, where it is, there is currently no parfum (I sit the box upright when stored; I have used just enough of it that there is none in the bottle-neck portion). So, right at the moment, all is well. But, I fear that one day I will go in to use the parfum and the bottle will have cracked to the outside, causing all my precious parfum to leak out.

    I have searched Ebay for another (empty) bottle, but, right now, there are none. Stores do not typically sample the parfum, so the chance of finding an empty one in a store is slim.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Yikes! That's horrible! Maybe you should decant it into something truly airtight, even if it's not a Joy bottle. (That means no atomizers–at least, not the decorative ones.) At least you'll be assured of having the Joy, and you can always put the original bottle somewhere you can look at it.

  84. Anonymous says:

    A decanting angel who shall remain nameless :-) saw my post and offered to send me a bottle. Until it comes, do you have any suggestions as to how to preserve this bottle? I literally do not have anything else to put it in and I will almost swear that it split a little more since this morning when I first posted. I am almost paranoid about it now.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Until the glass bottle comes, what about a small plastic bottle like the type you can now carry on an airplane?

  86. Anonymous says:

    Maybe that's the best solution for now. It seems like glass would be best for storing it so that the odor in plastic doesn't transfer.

  87. RusticDove says:

    I just scored a never opened, sealed box containing vintage Eau de Joy on Ebay. Do you know if Eau de Joy is a parfum or toilette? i will be happy either way, but if you do know – I would be grateful for the info. :-)

    • Angela says:

      I have some Eau de Joy, and it’s a wonderful EdT. Enjoy it!

      • RusticDove says:

        Thanks for the info Angela. It’s confusing, because some bottles simply say Joy, some include the words toilette or parfum, and others [like mine] simply say Eau de Joy. So it is puzzling. I would have preferred the perfume, but I’m still looking forward to trying this. My mom has the perfume, which I have worn, but I’ve never tried the toilette. Thanks again. :-)

  88. Robin R. says:

    Hi, Angela! I’ve been in and out of town, so kind of out of the NST loop, but wanted to ask you about Joy’s reformulations over the years. Do you know anything about the subject, perchance? I just scored a 3 oz bottle of the edt in mint condition made in the eighties, and it seems more beautiful than what’s available now — just somehow richer and more “real.”

    I know you know your way around vintage scents and the way that fragrance houses have had to change their compositions over the years for various reasons — I’ve smelled the differences myself; Bandit comes to mind, as well as Je Reviens and many Guerlains.

    I’ve heard rumours that Joy has gone through variouos incarnations due to the astronomically-increased prices of its rose and jasmine components in particular. Could it be that this bottle of mine is made with more Bulgarian Rose and Grasse Jasmine than the current edition? It sure smells good!!

    P.S. Angela, I know you have your own vintage bottle, but if anyone would like to swap for a sample or decant from this bottle of mine, I’m rrazzell on MUA and I’d love to share

    • Angela says:

      Robin, how are you? All I know about Joy is purely from word of mouth, and that is that the very latest version of the extrait is not what it used to be. I heard at two places selling Joy extrait that just in the past 6 months or so people who have worn Joy for years have been returning their bottles, saying that something about it is “off”. I don’t have any firsthand comparisons, though. I do have a bottle of Eau de Joy and some probably 1970s or maybe 1980s EdT, and I love them.

  89. Robin R. says:

    So good to hear from you, Angela. Thanks for the helpful answer. I now remember an MUA swap friend who sent me some Joy edp and extrait (she was the one to turn me on to the joys of Joy in the first place; I’d dismissed it as an overpriced dinosaur) saying that the edt is still lovely in its current incarnation and a bargain, so that’s nice to know.

    I want to thank you for being the one to turn me on to vintage scents in the first place. I went from mainstream to high-end to niche and now to vintage fragrances in my own growth as a perfumista, and I really understand how natural an evolution that is.

    The great bonus and delight in loving vintage — besides the historical angle, which fascinates me — is that, while buying the latest Le Labo is horrendously expensive and the process very dull and predictable (plunk down your charge card, basically), snagging a vintage bottle in a garage sale for dirt-cheap can feel like winning the lottery! And the minimal damage to my bank balance is much easier to justify. :-D

    • Angela says:

      It’s funny–I never thought about how the process of searching for vintage fragrance really adds to the fun (and frustration, sometimes) and finding them. But you’re so right! Plus, you end up with a story to accompany the perfume, too.

      • Robin R. says:

        Zackly, Ange. Like vintage clothes! I love one-of-a-kind treasures of all kinds, and you’re so right; having a story to tell is great value-added fun! :-)

  90. Fixed typo:
    When I was five years old I drank a bottle of my grandmas Joy perfume. My grandma was pretty upset, and I don’t remember it really, but my mom said I got pretty wild after that. I wish I could try drinking it again nowadays, or at least smell it.

    • Angela says:

      What a story! Maybe you should try some spritzed gently over a vodka martini (hold the olives) and see if it brings back memories.

      • Hahaha!
        Yeah, that’s a good idea!
        I really wish I could remember that experience. I don’t think I’ve smelled a bottle of that perfume ever since that day, just because it was kind of rare, and my grandma’s was all gone. But it must have been an amazing experience! I think I’ll go to some store where they carry it and try smelling it again. If I could afford it I think I would try your idea! It might be pretty good served that way. I mean, I’ve eaten rose petals before, and they were delicious, and jasmine tea is really yummy, so I know some of those ingredients in Joy taste good.

  91. says:

    I’ve always heard that Joy was Rod Stewart’s favorite scent on all of those cookie cutter, long legged blonds he favors. Denise

    • Angela says:

      That gives Rod Stewart new complexity for me! Thanks for the comment.

  92. mals86 says:

    I had sampled the edp of Joy from TPC, and thought it was “nice, but not exciting,” just as you describe your original reaction. Recently snagged a tiny bottle of extrait – there’s maybe 3? 4? ml in the bottle – from ebay for a riDICulously low price off the ‘bay. Opened the little box today and took out the bottle, removed that pretty red top, and nearly passed out. I don’t know if this particular bottle has aged strangely, or what, but the hint of skank I got in the edp is magnified about a billion times in this bottle of extrait: full-blown, porn-star, stilettos-and-pleather, dirty-undies skank, underneath the ladylike florals. Is that the civet? Is it the jasmine? Both? I mean, it’s almost pornographic (as opposed to the manure-and-raw cowhide skank in Cuir de Russie, or the warm, slightly-sweaty skin skank in Bal a Versailles). Or I suppose it could just be my nose…

    I often like classic vintage scents (fell in love w/ vtg No. 5, really like L’aimant, enjoyed Indiscret until it went all Youth Dew on me, and found Arpege amazingly rich – I went hunting some vintage Jolie Madame after reading your recent review, and it is gorrrgeous), and I’m starting to lose my skank-avoidance, but WOW, this bottle of Joy just about ran me out of the room. I may try to get up the courage to try it on skin soon. Maybe after the kids go back to school, and my afternoons are free again, I’ll attempt it.

    • Angela says:

      Civet can smell pretty darn naughty, and so can indolic jasmine, but I don’t think of Joy as particularly animalic. Somewhat animalic, sure, but not scarily so. I wonder if it does have something to do with the topnotes fading away? It sounds like you’ve got yourself a secret weapon!

      • Joe says:

        I just had to comment right this minute because as it turns out, I’ve inherited Mals’s “secret weapon” — for a song! I’ll thank her once again here, even though I’m sorry it didn’t work out for her!

        I sniffed a tiny dab when I first received it, but I’m sitting here just before midnight after having dabbed a good amount on my wrist and… all I can say is that it smells like heaven. I’m getting more roses than jasmine, with a seductive richness underneath, but nothing that I would really describe as “skank.” We’re having a mini heatwave and I’m not sure this is a daytime scent, but I’m thinking it might be fantastic to wear a bit of this out to the farmers’ market and breakfast at a bakery tomorrow morning. Sometimes just a small dab on each side of my neck of a floral like this blooms on a hot sunny day in a way that makes me feel so good. What a great way to start this weekend.

        • Angela says:

          It sounds like that bottle of Joy landed right where it was meant to go. I love your idea of taking it out for the farmer’s market, and I know it will be nice when winter sets in, too–although you might have to take a trip somewhere cold to really enjoy that aspect of Joy.

    • Isabella says:

      I’m about four years late to this party, but I just had to chime in. I recently acquired one of the wee, black, red-topped bottles of uncertain age as well, and I have to second the full-blown whoa-nellie skanky animal musk assessment… and also the “smells like heaven” assessment. Its a civet bomb wrapped in jasmine, and it’s delicious, but lordy is it ever nasty! And retro, to boot — I can’t imagine anything like it being marketable today. Which, of course, is exactly the matter with “today.” If this is close to the original iteration of Joy, then I have to thank M. Alméras for equating “joy” with “sex,” rather than “running through a field of daisies with freshly shampooed hair.”

      • Angela says:

        I’m glad you love it! Okay, so here’s something I learned last summer when I was lucky enough to talk with the new house perfumer at Patou: there’s no civet in Joy! Can you believe it? Apparently all the nastiness comes from the indolic jasmine. I agree with you, there’s nothing quite like the feel of Joy. It’s pretty amazing–and kind of raunchy, in its way.

        • stina says:

          It’s interesting how Joy is so different depending on skin chemistry… I found one of those red-topped snuff bottles of the parfum on eBay recently (still sealed in the original package, with the original cellophane), and on me it’s an explosion of lush, rich, heady roses rounded out with a touch of apricot-y ylang. Not even remotely animalic, except maybe that the drydown was a touch sour and off.

          I wonder if there was a lot of variation between batches? Maybe I got a rose-heavy batch and they were short on Grasse jasmine that year/month/whatever?? I wouldn’t have minded a whiff of some indolic jasmine raunch! I couldn’t detect any sandalwood; in fact, there didn’t seem to be any base notes at all.

          I’d love to try another one of those snuff bottles, but after hearing some of the comments about turned bottles I should probably count my blessings and save my pennies. :-)

          • Angela says:

            How lucky you were to find a bottle! I imagine it would be hard to help some variation between batches, given that it was made for so many years with so many uncertain variables.

  93. liliarundel says:

    This comment is for all women who as young girls hid in their mother’s closet and buried thier faces in her furs -and inhaled Joy – It reminds me of John Cheever short stories, martinis, Kelly purses, french twists and crystal ash trays. The secretaries on Mad Men could never afford it but the boss’s wife would wear it and expect it at Christmas while his girl friend would get Chanel Number 5. I wore it once or twice sparingly, it overwhelmed me with the nostalga.

    • Angela says:

      Yes! I love it. A perfect description (and one that has me thirsting for a martini and an episode of Mad Men).

  94. Lulubear says:

    Hello, I’m new. I stumbled on this amazing blog because I was looking up a perfume title I found in a book, Violetta Di Parma, googled it, and here’s where I landed. Ok, digression over, about Joy.

    Once, when I was a little girl, my Aunt Margaret, who always wore a huge ruby on her ring finger, and dripped in huge jewels, real or fake I didn’t care, she seemed like the Nth degree of luxury to me, invited me to stay for a weekend. I loved perfume even then, but shudder to think at the nose curdling concoctions I used to wear. Anyway, we were going somewhere, and I was crying because I’d forgotten my perfume, so she took out a tiny bottle, and opened it.

    “This is the most special, the most expensive perfume in the world,” she said, “Once worn, you never forget it.” I smelled this amazing, light, enchantingly sweet smell, the essence of every flower I loved. She put one tiny dab on each of my wrists, and it floated around in tantalizing traces all night.

    My life moved on, I grew up, but still, in dreams, I smelled that amazing smell. Then I moved to a large town, with a large and elegant department store. One day, passing through the perfumery, I stopped and asked if they had Joy, and how much it cost. I was told a price that, while not cheap, was very reasonable, for the EDT. So I asked if I could test it.

    Oh! How disappointed I was! I’ve heard the top notes described as crisp and bright, but to me, expecting that soft, lush sweetness, they smelled sharp. It smelled strong, powdery, old-fashioned, like something my Grandmother would wear. Ah well, I thought, going on my disappointed way, and now and then waving my wrist under my nose, I had only been young then, and tastes in perfume changed.

    But then the bright notes dried away, and, hours later, as I pulled up my sleeves, ready to start peeling vegetables for dinner, I caught just the faintest whiff of what I remembered.

    So, did I save my pennies, dash back and buy the Parfum? Um, no. But I well might. I still want to smell it again, to see if the smell I remember in my dreams is really there. My Aunt Margaret was right. Once worn, you never forget it, at least, I didn’t!

    • Angela says:

      What a marvelous story! It does seem like you should have some, though. Although I know sometimes memories are better than reality.

  95. Lulubear says:

    I’ve read through all these comments now, and I want some more than ever. I’ll have to see what I can find, and I’ll definitely buy the parfum. It’ll have to wait, as I currently commute between Wales and my Fiance’s place in Louisiana, but one day, perhaps for my wedding, I will have some!

    • Angela says:

      That’s quite a commute! I hope you snag your bottle soon.

  96. RedKitten says:

    I just ordered a sample of it and can’t wait to try it — I’ve been looking for a more womanly, grown-up scent, and have always wanted to try Joy.

    • Angela says:

      Joy is definitely a must-try–or, at least I think so. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t grab you right away. Just keep sniffing at your vial every few months.

  97. mcpheeta says:

    I am a perfume newbie, but managed to score a black and red bottle on ebay still with its wax seal and gold cord attached in its original box. It took me a month to decide to open it….good Lord I’ve died and gone to heaven! The long dry down was worth the wait! This is absolutely stunning! Best 40 bucks I ever spent! I like muscs and animalic scents and florals…this is it! Oh, how do I keep myself only using this occasionally!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Angela says:

      I hope you use it a lot! As long as you are enjoying it, plunge right in and wear it as often as you have the urge. I hate to see beautiful perfume sit on a shelf waiting for special occasions. Every day has something special about, after all.

      Great score, too!

  98. mrs.peloquin says:

    I love JOY — however (see my other post about Fracas) this is my mother’s signature scent (she has very classic fragrance taste) I wish I could wear it, but for me it belongs to my mom. As a child I remember smelling it and thinking thats what “lady” smells like, it smelled so beautiful and so grown up. Now that I’m grown I am looking for a “lady” fragrance of my own like JOY– but I still haven’t found it.

    • Angela says:

      I know an elegant, gracious woman whose mother also wore Joy. So, she took Patou Sublime as her scent, and it smells marvelous on her. Maybe that’s one to try?

      In any case, the searching is fun!

  99. Dizzy Dazzy says:

    Joy is lovely, deep jasmine. But I was not so impressed by the fact that it is made by Proctor & Gamble, and if I remember right so is Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Laura Biagiotti, Giorgio and most of the other big designer names. I can remember when Jean Patou perfumes were amongst the most expensive you could buy. I doubt very much that Proctor & Gambles source the same ingredients for their various recipes. But, having said that I find the mass produced perfumes last much longer than those made at most smaller perfume houses. Oh well if it smells nice, and lasts, and IS LESS EXPENSIVE who cares LOL!

    • Angela says:

      If it helps, at least Chanel is still owned by the same family that has owned it for decades–no conglomerate for them!

  100. Dizzy Dazzy says:

    The brand may be owned by the same company, but when I emailed for samples via their website the reply came back from Proctor & Gamble, as it did for Jean Patou, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Laura Biagiotti. Giorgio Beverley Hills, and loads and loads of others. They have their own websites, but the answers always come from Proctor & Gamble. Chanel may still be the same company, but they have definitely sold on their fragrance lines.

    • Angela says:

      You’re absolutely right–Patou is now owned by P&G.

  101. madhatter says:

    I love JOY. It is a scent I strongly associate with my mum. It was her favourite. I wore it once and it just felt wrong for me to wear it. Me, I’m a whore when it comes to perfumes. I wear whatever takes my fancy!

    • Angela says:

      I don’t know many people who feel comfortable wearing the same fragrance their mothers do. It sounds like you take the same approach I do with perfume!

  102. cilantro says:

    Hi there, this is my first post on your blog. I have a fragrant problem & need to resolve today. Today being my birthday my V wants to gift me something of my choice in addition to his surprise gift.Joy is available at Neiman Marcus but to be sure recently I ordered a sample of vintage Joy from perfume court & it smelt awful, like turpentine. My nose is very sharp to rose, yalang yalang & champak so I am sure it was some bad rotten sample. I am also thinking of getting Chanel no 5 parfume which I kept myself away due to my silly ideas(thinking too hyped).
    Last 2 days i am torn, between Joy vs Chanel 5 pls help me out salve my fragrant problem. Have a good day my spirited friends!

    • Angela says:

      This is a difficult choice! I think the most important thing is that you love one or the other of them. If you don’t feel that love, maybe neither one is right for you. If that’s the case, then it will take longer than a day to find that perfume love, but it will be time wonderfully spent!

  103. Elisheva says:

    Hello evryone I’ m the new kid in this forum for now and just wanted to ask anyone if they ever had bought any perfume thru fragrancenet because if you have not allow me to share an experience with a purchase of Joy, I’ve never smell this perfume but I order it thru fragrance net n it stunk n it did not smell close to any rose bush. The bottle was just like the origanal, Of course I return it but one question, perfumes do expire, right?…perhaps that is why it stunk! :-)…
    Thank You!

    • Angela says:

      I’m sorry the bottle of Joy didn’t work out for you! It could be that the bottle had turned–or it could be that Joy simply isn’t a terrific perfume for you. I wonder if you could order a sample from somewhere and try it first? I know I’ve saved myself a lot of money and heartache by doing that.

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