Lightyears Collection
Joy de Jean Patou
Jean Patou

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Joy became Jean Patou's legendary perfume thanks to its cost and timing. In 1930, as the Depression caused more and more grief to his wealthy clients (and, no doubt, to his own couture business!), Patou asked his in-house perfumer, Henri Alméras to create a "lighthouse" fragrance, a perfume that would make his business shine above all others and attact business, even in these grim times.

Alméras concocted a fragrance using outrageous amounts of Bulgarian rose and French jasmine, pushing the manufacturing cost of the new fragrance to unheard of heights. After all, perfume was supposed to be bought cheap and sold dear. Couture was where cost and quality were demanded. Almeras worried that Patou had gone mad and the business was headed for the toilet.

Yet the new fragrance, Joy de Jean Patou, proved a huge success. Joy helped save the business during these rough times and continues to be a favorite today — for those few who can afford it!

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Photo of Joy bottle showing JP logo on glass stopper

Top view showing Jean Patou logo on glass stopper

Left, top: Classic Joy bottle showing "JP" logo etched into the glass stopper.

Left, bottom: Purse-size Joy in small glass bottle encased in green leather embossed with the name "Jean Patou".

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Photo of Jean Patou 'Joy' in purser

Jean Patou purser for Joy
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Top view showing Jean Patou logo on glass stopper

There is a story told that, at the beginning, Patou did not always have custom bottles ready when his fragrances were introduced. The bottle seen here (left and right) is clearly a glass manufacturer's stock bottle, yet is is labeled "Jean Patou, Joy".

Note that the glass stopper (right) is similar to those first used by perfume giant Coty and later by many smaller French perfumers.

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Top view showing Jean Patou logo on glass stopper
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1932 'Joy' bottle by Jean Patou

Above at the right, the 1932 Joy perfume bottle designed by Jean Patou, inspired by a Chinese "snuff" bottle like the one shown above on the left.

While the original, "classic" Joy bottle — so familiar to us today, was designed by Art Déco architest and bottle designer, Louis Süe, Jean Patou himself put his hand to bottle design and, in 1932, produced the alternate Joy bottle shown at the far right.

Shown to the right, alongside Patou's bottle, is a classic Chinese "snuff" bottle (this one obtained by air from Bejing.) Patou, it is said, possessed a similar "snuff" bottle of jade which served as the inspiration for the bottle at the far right. The similarities between the bottles gives proof of this story.

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  • Tricia Patton, 12/28/2022. When I was 21 my husband and I spent time in Paris. I went to a parfumerie and went tested many many perfumes. I had no previous knowledge of these fragrances. I chose Joy. It was 1971. I bought several ounces. I loved it. I continued to wear it throughout my life purchasing a bottle at least once a year. The last bottle I purchased was on our anniversary in 2020. I’m getting very low but it was a pretty large bottle. I mentioned to my husband that I really need another bottle of Joy. Was he going to buy it for me or should I get it myself? I’m now 73. Christmas Day I was presented with three packages all alike. Three bottles of Joy. One from my husband, one from my son, and one from my daughter. I was also told the very sad news that Joy is no longer being manufactured and these bottles may be my last. It’s so very sad. Such a beautiful fragrance and for me one with so many memories.

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Philip Goutell's Signature

Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.