Joy by Jean Patou

Joy was once billed as the worlds most costliest fragrance back in the 30's, after the stockmarket crash of 1929. Created in 1929 a mere 30mls of parfum contains no less than 10,000 jasmine flowers and over 300 roses. Rumour has it that it hasnt been reformulated since its inception, which in this day and age with the IFRA going crazy banning this and that from our beloved perfumes, is almost hard to believe.

I have been intrigued by Joy for a few years now, but for some reason or another, just never got around to trying it. Finally with some spare cash and a hard-to-resist sale at Strawberrynet, I took the plunge. I had a fair idea of what to expect, given the polarising reviews out there on this scent, but still held my breath in anticipation of what I would experience, smelling one of the world most renown fragrances.

Joy starts off with a harsh, almost chemical blast of seemingly relentless aldehydes, jasmine, rose and civet. Its hard to argue that Joy is a rose or jasmine scent, as they are of equal proportions, with lily and ylang added- two indolic smelling flowers which blend in perfectly with the jasmine. Starting with the aldehydes, they are cold and metallic, reminiscent of the aldehydes in Fidji by Guy Laroche, lending a soapy aspect to the scent and are quite dominant. Green notes are thrown in for good measure. The jasmine and rose appear en masse, within milliseconds. The jasmine is heady, slightly overripe and bordering on decay. The rose is heavy and concentrated, which strangely always conjures up the smell of dried raisins for me, much like the rose in Annick Goutal's Quel Amour EDP. Combined with the aldehydes, the jasmine and rose are ensconced in a cold, soapy, metallic cloud, which some could find rather overwhelming and chemical, or "old lady-ish".
There is a persisting sharpness from the civet, almost ammonia-like, but I find its staved off by the counteracting metallic coldness of the aldehydes. The civet is shrill, and is the deciding factor for a lot of people, as to whether they can wear this fragrance or not. Many  find the civet hard to tolerate in this scent, equating it to cat urine (ammonia) or having a fecal "poopy" smell. I can see where that association comes from, but for me, although I smell it, it doesnt deter me. In fact I think it works fabulously in this fragrance as its amps up the flower power. It brings the decaying jasmine flowers back to life, pumping them full of vigor and indolic scent. It also works well with the soapy aldehydes, they seem to balance each other out. The aldehydes are heavy, thick and smothering, but the civet lifts them up to become airy and powdery as the scent dries down.

Given the strength of this fragrance, I find it dries down rather quickly, the aldehydes releasing their metallic grip and giving way to a softer, powdery embrace. The civet tones down to a purring musk, leaving you with a gentler, powdery floral, with a slightly mothball smelling jasmine peeping through. Lasting power is average on me, after 3-4 hours it gets hard to smell on the skin.

Joy is not an easy fragrance to wear, and the polarising reviews give you fair warning that its a love-it-or-hate-it scent. I find that it helps if you can smell Joy as a whole and not as parts of the sum. Sometimes it can take a bit of practice to learn to smell in two minds- the sum and the parts but it can make all the difference when understanding a fragrance, and appreciating it, to in turn, enjoy wearing it.

For me, its not an everyday scent, and not one which I will wear often. Its a rather aggressive floral and not for the faint-hearted. But you have to remember, our grandmothers and mothers wore this, so bearing this in mind, perhaps we have become too complacent with the watered down department store offerings, and the relentless stream of fruity florals, if we find something our grandmothers wore "aggressive".
Although I wont wear it often, I know there will be days when I am jaded by the fruity floral world and need a dose of "Joy" to slap me in the face bring me back to life.  

Joy comes in and Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Parfum concentration. It is no longer sold in stores, however you may find it in store at perfume discount outlets around NZ. Your best bet is an online perfume store.

Note: According to Tania Sanchez (Perfumes, The Guide) Joy in the Eau de Parfum concentration is the old "Eau de Joy" forumulation. This is a different formulation from the parfum version. Apparently, the parfum version is spicier and more animalic.


shi zhan said...

Ray Ban サングラスで大人にも、子供にも紫外線対策をきちんとすることが必要だそうです。この夏の暑さは厳しいです。子供たちの健康を心配になってしまいます。そのために、レイバン wayfarerもブームになっています。あのレイバン RB2140一本で子供の目を守るのはどうですか。

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