The Scent of the Century
Mom wanted to delight me with this little bottle of genuine JOY perfume when I became a mother. The, uh, aroma gave me such a headache. I’ve saved the treasure ever since 1974, but I’m still leery of even a little whiff of it.
One photo started a delightful rabbit trail, because what I do enjoy about this little bottle of expensive perfume is its history.
The American press called Jean Patou the most elegant man in Europe. He created his own fashion house in 1914, but the Great Depression caused the market for luxury fashion to collapse. Created in 1929 by perfumer Henri Almeras in 1929, JOY was introduced in 1930. Even though pricy, it became a success, saving Patou’s company. It remains their most famous fragrance.
Voted by the public in the 2000 Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards, JOY was chosen the “Scent of the Century.”
According to Fragrantica.com, “The nose behind this floral fragrance is [perfumer] Henri Almeras. Top notes are Bulgarian Rose, Ylang-Ylang and Tuberose; middle notes are Jasmine and May Rose; base notes are Musk and Sandalwood.”
I confess that this Iowa farm girl prefers the aroma of recently mown hay to expensive fragrances. But my little bottle of JOY is another winsome heirloom with a story.