Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Brings Us Joy? Joy by Jean Patou, of course!

WHAT BRINGS US JOY? JOY BY JEAN PATOU, OF COURSE!  "And I will make thee beds of roses and a thousand fragrant posies," wrote that fabulous Elizabethan dramatist and poet Christopher Marlow.  Little could he have ever imagined that one day, many centuries later in France, someone would combine the scent of beds and beds of roses and thousands of fragrant posies in a perfume that would captivate the world.  That person was Jean Patou, a couturier who opened a small dress salon in Paris in 1912 called "Maison Parry" -- and, at that time, making perfume and becoming forever internationally renowned because of that alone was far from his mind -- but world events later on would change all of that! Of course, Patou was content creating dresses until World War I came along and Patou was mobilized as a captain in the light infantry regiment of the French Zouaves until he could return in 1919 and once again set about creating a plethora of fashionable items such as lingerie, jewelry, hats and sportswear for women such as knitted swimwear, tennis wear, cardigans and "designer" ties -- and even the first suntan oil "Huile de Chaldée" in  1928 (remember when Coco Chanel got accidentally sunburned on the French Riviera in the 1920s and inadvertently started the suntan craze?).  As the 1930s were approaching, Patou was selling a great deal of his clothing to wealthy American ladies -- but the stock market crash of 1929 plunged the global economy into a depression and Patou, like so many others in the world of fashion, suffered a heavy blow. But the resourceful Patou was about to change his fortune when he asked renowned French perfumer Henri Alméras in 1930 to conjure up a fragrance that would be a 'gift' to his American clientele that would hopefully be unlike any other -- and, boy oh boy, what a scent-sational fragrance Alméras created: Joy!! It was an instant success and understandably so. The primary notes are jasmine (10,000 in 30ml of parfum) and rose (336 roses, give or take a bloom in 30ml of parfum) mixed and mingled with heady tuberose, michelia (related to magnolias) and the deep, rich ylang ylang for a scent is that is simple, complex and totally intoxicating at the same time (we love that!).  The original bottle (based on the Ancient Greek principles of "divine proportion") was designed by French architect and furniture designer Louis Süe (his Art Deco furniture, by the way, is highly collectible) -- and like the Chanel No. 5 bottle (see our May 26, 2012 report) the Joy bottle became a symbol of modern couture and all things chic from Paris.  Every time that we at Studio of Style get a whiff of Joy parfum, we are transported to paradise and hopelessly lost in a romantic reverie -- and we have to savor the scent once again and those thousand fragrant posies and beds of roses so eloquently mentioned in Marlow's Elizabethan poem come to mind -- and all we can say is "Joy to the world!"