Joy

 

Chic is the word that comes to mind when I first smell Joy (Jean Patou 1930) by Jean Patou.  Then I notice the sharp, sleek Art Deco oh so perfect mix of florals and aldehydes.  The jasmine, orchid, lily-of-the-valley, ylang ylang and tuberose smell like they were taken fresh from a garden in (and yes I can smell all the notes).  This fragrance is fresh but not at all boring.  It’s just so very elegant.

Top notes: rose, aldehydes, green notes, tuberose, peach, and ylang ylang. Middle notes: Bulgarian rose, lily-of-valley, jasmine, orris root, and orchid.  Base notes: sandalwood, civet and musk.  

(this is a vintage sample)

Eau De Joy

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According a website devoted to discovering and discussing the favorite perfume of celebrities, Joy by Jean Patou was a favorite fragrance of Jackie Kennedy.  Eau De Joy launched in 1953 as a sister to Joy, is a gummy fruit (on my skin it smells like there is a grape note in this scent, though it’s not listed) and floral laced aldehydic romp.  Eau De Joy (Jean Patou 1953) is energetic in a youthful way but also very elegant and perhaps a bit lighter than the original (although I’d probably prefer the original).

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2015-01-15 17.41.33 (2)The original Joy, launched in 1930, was presented at the start of The Great Depression and marketed to women who were still of generous means, Jean Patou calling it, “the most expensive perfume in the world.”    I actually found an ad, referencing the famous tagline for Joy, that the previous owner had clipped from a newspaper and stuffed into my box of vintage Eau De Joy.  The ad was put out by Palm Village Pharmacy – a pharmacy that may have once been located in West Palm Beach Florida. There was also a clipped black and white photo of the bottle and a paragraph describing the “exquisite” notes (jasmin and rose) that create the “costliest perfume in the world.”

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I wonder why the previous owner clipped these pieces and stuffed them inside the box.  Perhaps the Joy fragrances and their history meant something to the last owner.  Fragrances, as I’ve previously mentioned in a personal context, can bring back a memory exceedingly well, and I find it interesting to imagine what memories Joy and Eau de Joy carried for this person.  I also wonder what memories Joy evoked for Jackie O.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onasis was born in 1929 into a prestigious family and the perfume-lover in me wonders if she grew up smelling Joy.  It would make sense.   And, besides her other personal preferences, did she later wear it partially for sentimental reasons, or because it’s such a popular scent (second only to Chanel No. 5)?  When one is a young girl and you smell a perfume that seems to epitomize everything “grown-up” and stunning in the world, that scent will always carry a certain nostalgic cachet.

In any case, the book this week is:

IMG_3593 (2)I first read this very entertaining, and perceptive biography by British biographer and historian Sarah Bradford (Elizabeth, a Biography of Her Majesty the Queen and Diana) years ago, but regardless of however many times I read it the pages turn quickly as it traces Jackie O’s life from childhood to death.  I think, however, that what always stands out most is the way Bradford captures the years in the White House and Jackie’s relationships with the Kennedy men.  I often feel like I am watching her life play out before my eyes as I read about how the late icon decorated the White House to perfection or handled the bruises of a complicated but glamorous love life.   Indeed, I would highly recommend this book both as an introduction to people first discovering this famous American and to those who, however unlikely, know a great deal about Jackie O (Jackie Onasis) but somehow have managed (astoundingly) to not read this biography yet.

And, anyway, even though I said I would discuss the book I’ve previously mentioned by Evelyn Waugh today again I’m going to hold off on discussing that one to completion until next week…   So…

Until Friday. 🙂