Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Project Perfume - Joy by Jean Patou

 I'm aware that I haven't written much for Project Perfume in the last month or so, but that doesn't mean I've been resting on my laurels!  Quite the reverse, in fact ... 

If you have a look at my project perfume page, you'll see that, I've been extremely successful in tracking down a lot of the scents I'd listed at the start of the year, and some of the ones left on the list are the ones that are more ... er ... hard to find.

Oddly, of all the perfumes on the list that are trendy, and niche, and hard to find some of them are surprisingly unmemorable.   Also, for a couple of them, I've been wondering if perfume fumes have gone to Luca and Tania's head.  For example: Let it Rock by Vivienne Westwood. Described in "the book" as comparable to Shalimar Light (I have an entire blogpost about Shalimar coming up soon), and goes on: "a bright, resinous citrus-peel top note, plus a combination of coumarin and heliptropin like a toasted almond biscotti.  A beautiful easy-going, well-made fragrance." I'll say it's an easy-going fragance alright.  It's so easy-going that I sprayed it onto myself just five minutes ago, and already I have no memory whatsoever of what it smells like.  It is, in fact, easy-gone.  I'm sure it's very nice, but I do wonder what the Perfumes The A-Z Guide authors had been ingesting on that particular day.  Lippie rating: Complete and utter nonentity.

But I'm digressing.  One scent that is about as far from unmemorable as can be is Joy, by Jean Patou.  I've wanted to wear it a lot since it appeared, which is strange, as it's actually about as old-fashioned a perfume can be, but its beauty transcends its image, and for me, this a scent I'd like to bathe in.

It's a floral fragrance, and an unabashed one at that. It opens with a bunch of "perfume-y" aldehydes which die down very quickly, leaving you with a bouquet of perfect full-blown roses and jasmine on your skin.  What I find beautiful about this is that sometimes it's just a rose you can smell, and then, it's a perfect jasmine soliflore scent.  What you don't get is just a "flower stew" affair, as in so many modern florals, where you can't pick out any of the individual scents.  This is very definitely roses and jasmine, without being a "rosejasminefloraljam".

Luca Turin says that "to call Joy a floral is to misunderstand it", thereby inferring that picking up on this aspect of the scent is to damn it with faint praise.  I disagree, it's a celebration of flowers, a masterpiece of floral, and an amazingly constructed scent, to boot.  It has moderate sillage (other people will smell you from across the room if you wear too much), and excellent lasting powers.  A small spritz will last you the day.  If all "flowery" fragrances smelled this good, there would be nothing wrong with calling it a floral perfume at all ...

This has made it to the front-line of my scent collection, unexpectedly, and all the more delightful for it.  It's a wonderfully womanly fragrance, comforting in it's way, but ... MrLippie has dammed it with his own faint praise, calling it ""interesting" then going on to say "flowers" in a disdainful way.  I'm guessing it's not his cup of tea...

The Fine Print: Fragrances were provided from a variety of sources, tested on skin.  With my nose.  And the "help" of MrLippie.

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1 comment

  1. I have been in awe of Joy since I was a young girl, I think the prestige and expense may have something to do with it. I must get a sample to try. I am impressed with your discipline in your perfume project, I just keep adding and adding to my list.


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