Note: Please understand that this website is not affiliated with the Jean Patou company in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the Jean Patou fragrances.

The goal of this website is to show the present owners of the Jean Patou company how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back the perfume!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the perfume, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories), who knows, perhaps someone from the company might see it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Joy by Jean Patou c1930

Jean Patou wanted to send a gift of appreciation to his many regular international clients who would be unable to visit Paris in that first year of the Great Depression. He asked Henri Almeras to create something very strong, yet simple, no matter what the cost. This lead to the creation of the costliest perfume in the world, Joy.

Renowned as "the costliest perfume in the world," the Joy line was created in 1930 by haute couture designer Jean Patou. The perfume was first used commercially in 1931 according to trademark records. Jean Patou was the first designer to use his initials as a logo, presaging the monogrammed designer labels of today.

Life, 1933:
"Most expensive of Patou's perfumes is "Joy" which commands $35 for two- thirds of an ounce. The selling argument behind this walloping price is that each customer who orders it is entitled to have a special label bearing the legend, "Made for..."

Harper's Bazaar, 1933:
"Patou, a Pasha at heart, indulges in like privilege. Last year he created Joy, a perfume scarcely to be begged or bought. He will make it on special order, and when it comes it has your name printed on the label."

Stage, 1937:

"PATOU — The "Joy" scent continues to be one of the most expensive perfumes made, which is itself enough to delight a lot of people; two ounces, $60."

Rosicrucian Digest, 1945:
"One of the costliest perfumes on the market today is called Joy." It is put up by Jean Patou, and sold in jade and crystal bottles."

Fragrance Composition:

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a floral fragrance for women. It starts with a flowery green top, followed by a luxurious natural floral heart, resting on a feminine floral base.
  • Top notes: aldehydes, Calabrian bergamot, flower calyx note, peach, Bulgarian rose oil, tuberose, leafy green note
  • Middle notes: rose de Mai, French jasmine de Mai, woodland lily, orchid, orris, Comoros ylang ylang, lily of the valley
  • Base notes: vanilla, musk, Mysore sandalwood, civet

The predominant ingredients of Bulgarian rose and Grasse jasmine-one ounce each, it is said requires 10,600 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen May roses, the scent is a timeless masterpiece in simplicity. During two short weeks in the summer, several kilos of blossoms are harvested from the Jean Patou flower fields in Grasse to achieve the 10,600 flowers required for just one bottle of Joy perfume. The luxurious composition is coveted by women around the world. 

Joy also made use of the Jasmin 231 base made by Firmenich. Jasmin 231 lent a trail of honeysuckle to the jasmine. Also used the Schimmel & Company chemical hyacinthine, and the schiff base citrindol (Indole/Citral) made by Firmenich.

The range:
  • 1 oz Parfum Baccarat Flacon
  • 1 oz Parfum Luxe


The bottle was produced in three different designs. The first one, a crystal flacon, was designed to classical proportions by Louis Sue, the second was a black crystal flacon inspired by Jean Patou's own collection of antique Chinese jade snuff bottles, and the third was a cut crystal flacon produced by Baccarat.

Classic Flacon:

The most commonly found bottle for Joy is the classic design by Louis Sue, made up of elegant cut crystal. Two strange bottles were made, one of black glass, and the other entirely covered in gold. these are thought to be prototypes and not actually sold.

The classic flacon came in several sizes:

  • Factice (dummy) bottle stands 7" tall.
  • 3.5 oz bottle stands ?
  • 2.75 oz bottle stands 3 1/8" tall
  • 2 oz bottle stands 2.5" tall.
  • 1.75 oz bottle stands 2.32" tall.
  • 1 oz bottle stands 2.25" tall.
  • 0.5 oz bottle stands 2" tall.

To open the classic Patou crystal flacon, use the following tip provided by Parfums Jean Patou in 1963:
Cushion stopper with finger, tap top upwards gently with glass object. Never heat this bottle.

Snuff Flacon:
Black glass bottle imitating Chinese snuff bottle, lettering in gold. Red plastic stopper, this bottle style was launched in 1931. An unusual bottle is covered entirely in gold, this may have been a prototype or special edition.

Limited Edition Bottles:

The 1 oz Crystal Baccarat Flacon: An exclusive luxury fragrance for exceptional women—only 50 limited-edition inscribed Baccarat Pure Parfum bottles are created each year for Jean Patou Joy. Current retail price: $1000 at Bergdorf Goodman.

Limited Edition 1 oz parfum Baccarat crystal flacon for Joy. Only 150 examples were produced in 1998. This is a recreation of the famous 1930 bottle for Cocktail, a perfume by Patou originally released in the 1920s. This bottle features a stylized floral motif molded on the front panel of the bottle. It is housed in a black velvet covered demilune shaped presentation box with a triple mirrored interior. The bottle rests on a platform which rotates so that the perfume could be turned towards the curved part of the box so the doors can be closed. The original retail price for this limited edition parfum was $1,000.00 when sold at the Neiman Marcus department store.
In 1995, a limited edition of the Chinese snuff bottle was released. This pretty Baccarat crystal bottle is made of clear crystal rather than the usual black. The bottle holds 15 ml of pure parfum and is housed in a black velvet covered demilune shaped presentation case lined in red velvet and satin.

Other Bottles:

Jo was presented in various other bottles to hold different concentrations: eau de toilette, eau de parfum, cologne, etc.

The tall Eau de Toilette atomizer with the black plastic cap was designed by Pierre Dinand in 1984 and manufactured by Verreries Brosse and Pochet et du Courval with plastic components supplied by TPI.

Ancillary Products:

The Joy de Bain line was released in 1986 and included: perfumed body cream, perfumed body lotion, perfumed soap, perfumed foaming bath gel, and perfumed dusting powder. The line was expanded to include: perfumed deodorant spray and perfumed body mist.


In 2011 Patou was bought by Designer Parfums Ltd, a UK-based firm. In August 2018, LVMH purchased Patou and Dior, an LVMH brand, acquired the rights to the name "Joy"

Joy by Jean Patou has been discontinued since 2018 and is no longer in production, but you can still find old stock in stores and online.

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