Tag Archives: Jean Patou Joy

Dear Aunty Sam: Your Perfume Problems Answered-Part Three

evelyn de morgan
Evelyn de Morgan, The Love Potion

Well, this HAS been popular. I asked you to send in your perfume problems and you did and now we’re back for part three like olfactory gluttons.  This week I’ll be looking at how to make Green Tea fragrances last longer and whether old perfume is OK to wear.

rsz_dr_sam (1)

Reader Jane McLeod wrote to me and said:

Dear Aunty Sam,

I’m delighted to hear that green notes are coming back! My favourite note in perfume is the tea note, but despite an on/off relationship with both Bvlgari’s The Vert and Arden’s Green Tea they never last on my skin. I’ve hunted many tea perfumes down, but no luck. Sorry to send you back to yourAunty Sam role of the previous few blogs, but is there any tea fragrance that does last on the skin I wonder?


Dear Jane,

Please don’t be sorry, I love being Aunty Sam!  Green Tea is one of those light hesperide notes fuji-green-tea-eau-de-cologne-1-640x640that needs anchoring to stay put.

The perfect perfume brand for you would be Atelier Cologne. They take all these wonderful light notes that we love from colognes and use super long lasting ingredients that means even a citrus scent stays citrussy for up to 9 hours.  You might like to try Atelier Cologne Oolong Infini. It’s a long lasting tea scent, although I don’t it’s Green Tea.  Failing that, spray your usual Green Tea scent on clothes, collars, scarves, sleeves and/or hair.

atelier-cologne-oolang-infini-perfume-unisex___2 (1)Fabric often carries scent for longer than skin. You might like to try the new Body Shop  Fuji Green Tea range.  With lots of body products, you can layer and build your green tea scent for  a longer lasting result.



Dear Aunty Sam,

joyimageI have a general perfume question. Does perfume ever go off?

I have a few bottles of scent, not all strictly perfume, but ranging from body spray to actual Eau de Parfum, which are open and which I’ve realized have been open for years.  Medal of honour goes to a bottle of Joy by Jean Patou, a present from my Mum which is so gorgeous I’ve been saving it for special occasions – so much so that this bottle is coming up to seven years old.  I must use it more often!

Does it matter? If they still smell nice in the bottle, are they safe to use?

Love from Eleanor

rsz_dr_sam (1) My dear Eleanor,

Now that’s a very interesting question and the answer is yes and no.

I have some wonderful vintage Balmain Jolie Madame that looks as if it’s over 50 years old. It still smells great.  On the other hand, I recently bought a discontinued Body Shop fragrance called Aqua Lily from a car boots sale, which was most definitely “off” despite it being only a few years old.  There was a scorched smell that didn’t lessen or go away.

vintage perfumeThe answer lies in storage. I f a scent has been kept in its box and fairly cool or at room temperature,  it should be OK. If it’s been kept out of a box and stored on a windowsill or in direct sunlight, as I suspect my Body Shop find was, then it probably won’t be.

As a rule, many vintage scents were made before the seismic regulations of IFRA banned any remotely harmful ingredients, which means that nobody can guarantee vintage won’t give you a rash, so do a patch test first.  The other advice applies to food past its best before as well as scent: use your nose. If it smells good, it probably is good.

PS Don’t save it for special occasions- wear it all the time!

Over to you

One thing I get asked most often is about smellalikes. Readers are often looking for a close match to a discontinued favourite, or a budget friendly match to a pricey special occasion scent. Either way, I’m your woman, so do write in if you have a question on any aspect of fragrance.

I always love to hear from you.


Jean Patou: Joy Forever

Jean Patou
Jean Patou


Sometimes when a classic gets a flanker, I feel apprehensive. Let’s face it, sometimes flankers are bad news. There are of course, marvellous exceptions such as Chanel No 5 Eau Premier and Chanel Cristalle Eau Vert, but on the other hand you have the 27 odd flankers to Givenchy Irresistible which frankly, puts me right off the original. Let’s not even speak of the new incarnation of Miss Dior- once a mossy chypre, now a strawberry floral.

I can assure you dear reader, that you may have no such fears from Joy Forever. As so many scents modernise their classic nuances for the modern and youthful palate (often excluding we over 40s!), Joy Forever manages to be contemporary without selling out. Phew!

So what’s it like? It opens with a flourish of citrussy bergamot and fresh, dewy petals. For about ten minutes the marigold comes out in all its yellow flower, peppery glory and there is a definite resemblance to Chloe Narcisse. Panic not though if you’re not a fan, because when that phase segues into the middle note, you have a full blown, soapy, heady bunch of white flowers. Jasmine is particularly dominant, as is orange flower, and there is an almost, but not quite aldehydic soapiness with an outline of freshening citrus around the edges.

It all blends down seamlessly into a prickly, white musky finish full of sandalwood and patchouli.

joy forever

Joy Forever is almost asking to be a bridal perfume with a name like that, but would be suitable for anyone all year round. It is beautiful quality at a reasonable price. I am seriously tempted to buy a bottle, even though I feel that slight sense of shame when I look at my groaning dressing table. Joy Forever is impossibly feminine and as lovely as sticking your face in a big bouquet of fresh florists flowers.


Joy Forever is widely available: try  Selfridges , Amazon UK, allbeauty (one of the cheapest), John Lewis or Harrods. In the US you can buy it from Neiman Marcus


Caron Narcisse Noir: Daffodils in Autumn? Mais Oui!


 Caron Narcisse Noir was exactly what I was looking for today.  I wanted something retro, not modern. Floral but not too sweet. Something with a hint of Spice for Autumn. Narcisse Noir met all my needs and left me wanting more.

This was my first time with Narcisse Noir, though I am familiar with other Carons: notably the fabulous Tabac Blond, which I have reviewed earlier in my blog, and also Nuit de Noel.

 Narcisse Noir is perhaps not aptly named. Black Narcissus suggests something dark, tempting and edgy, when in fact what I got was a sort of smoky version of Jean Patou Joy, with even more Jasmine, if that’s possible. This is in no way A Bad Thing, but I found nothing dark in it, only a wonderfully smoky Autumn scent.


 Narcisse Noir opens with flowers: armfuls of them. The yellow Narcissus gives it a honeyed sort of glow, but it’s the Jasmine that really blooms and blooms and generally shows off a bit. There’s Orange Blossom in spades, but sadly the important Orange note was not in when I dropped by, despite promising to be there.

Longevity is excellent. I first applied it eight hours ago and I can still smell it close to skin. It’s more Yellow Flowers than White Flowers and the Sandalwood in the base gives it the smokiness I mentioned earlier, as if someone lit Sandalwood joss sticks next to a bouquet of Roses, and an enormous bucket of Jasmine.

Caron packaging is so attractive that it invokes nothing less than covetousness.  Its pretty bottles with the raised polka dots and the white and gold boxes are just adorable and I wouldn’t turn down any bottle from the esteemed range of Carons. (Santa, if you’re reading this, you know what to do).

Photo Leonce Perret / Wiki

It is almost unsurprising that Narcisse Noir was created in 1911. It is a timeless classic, which to my taste, just has the edge over the legendary Joy, which, although I like it, can sometimes smell a bit twee on me. Narcisse Noir has its own stories to tell too.  It was reputedly sprayed around the set of Sunset Boulevard at the behest of its Star, Gloria Swanson. It is rumoured that Diaghilev insisted that his ballerinas wore it when dancing. With such whimsical vignettes behind its name, how can you ever lose?



Jean Patou Joy: Here Comes The Heavyweight


So big and mighty and famous is Joy that I feel almost unqualified to review it. However, as you may know  by now, IScentYouADay is all about my response to a scent, and therefore, like the Gallery Visitor swooning at their first Titian, I am merely reporting as a member of ImageJosephine Public.  Although slightly more scent obsessive, it must be said.

Joy was created in the middle of the Great Depression and was the most expensive perfume in the world. Jean Patou was quite unapologetic about this fact.  You can imagine how it must have gone down in PR terms during post war austerity. That being said, he had the talent to back up his chutzpah.

Joy was indeed costly, not just financially, but environmentally.  One bottle of Joy would use up 336 Roses and 10,600 jasmine flowers. As you can imagine, IFRA have since changed all that.  Lucky old moi, I have in my hands a vintage EDP sample (thank you LW yet again). On smelling Joy, it’s easy to remember that it was created for a woman in the 1930s since this is not a modern smell, and yet, at the same time, it is a timeless classic.

from The Black Narcissus
from The Black Narcissus

First impressions count. I had a burst of Aldehyde, the blatancy of which I hadn’t smelled since Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass. It’s Aldehydes loudly before Peaches and Jasmine barge in. A little Tuberose makes things creamy, and I could have sworn some Lemon was in there, but it seems I am wrong. As the sharpness dies down, the Roses begin to dominate, but with subtlety. They are so perfectly blended with the other ingredients that you couldn’t quite call this a Rose perfume. Or a straight forward floral. Civet is listed, though I found no trace, and the base notes settle down into something that I prefer far and away above the opening notes.


Jasmine is loud, Roses are strong to the point of  medicinal,  and sandalwood makes it cosy. A little musk softens all edges into a baby soft floral with the now milder Aldehydes in the background to give it a prickle. It’s easy to see why this has stood the test of time whilst others have fallen. I found Joy  hard to break down into pieces and notes. What Henri Almeras has created is a mood, or a tone. Unabashedly feminine, perfume makers could learn a lot at the knee of Madame Joy. It’s complicated and changeable, but the end result and the final basenotes are simple.

I like Joy, and so do millions of others, making this the second best selling perfume of all time after the ubiquitous Chanel no 5. (which I suppose I’ll have to get round to reviewing at some point. Reluctantly). Incidentally, I have discovered that I love to say “Jean Patou” aloud. It almost sounds like an exclamation: “Jean Patou! That was delicious” or “Jean Patou, look at the rain!” Jean Patou! That’s some good perfume.

You can buy Jean Patou Joy from allbeauty.com or Escentual.