New Perfume Review: Joy by Dior- Shaking My Head


When it comes to my favorite dead brand, Jean Patou, I am a bit like Charlie Brown and Lucy when it comes to her holding a football for him to kick. Every time I think I will get some gratification only to find myself on my back looking at the sky. About a month ago I read that Jean Patou had been acquired by LVMH. What was odd was it had been done in such a way that people only learned of it well after the fact of the acquisition. Why was that? The press release announcing it was appropriately hopeful about giving the brand an elevated profile. Then the truth came about two weeks later when I got a press release announcing the new release from Dior; Joy by Dior. They acquired Jean Patou so they wouldn’t have to have any problems with the name of their new perfume.

Jean Patou Joy is one of the acknowledged masterpieces of perfumery. It is seen as one of the greatest perfumes ever. Because Patou has been so decimated as a brand it is not as cherished as its other contemporaries. Which is why it is puzzling why Dior would make the decision to produce a new perfume with the same name of a masterpiece. The cynic in me says because they’ve unleashed their market research staff and found out most consumers have no idea there is a previous classic perfume called Joy. Which fits with the perfume that has been produced. Joy by Dior is a good perfume put together via the perfume assembly line of focus groups and market research; as cynical as it gets in other words.

Francois Demachy

Francois Demachy the in-house perfumer at Dior is responsible for Joy by Dior. It is very simple, very fresh, and very derivative. M. Demachy chose to create a mash-up of two huge best-sellers. The citrus opening is straight out of Chanel Allure and the floral heart is Dior J’Adore. In other words, it is just a re-tread. This has become a disturbing trend that has bled over into niche perfumery (Try the new Serge Lutens for an example). If you want a crowd-pleasing top seller just combine some of the best accords from your past, or another brand’s, and toss them together into a “new” perfume. Count on the consumer to just go with the happy flow. Voila! You have Joy by Dior.

The top is citrus. Studies say everyone loves citrus. M. Demachy blends a slightly bitter orange version. Flowers, everyone loves flowers; especially rose and jasmine. Yes, but don’t make them too heavy that makes people uncomfortable. It also might remind them of that other Joy. So, make sure the rose and jasmine are composed of expansive synthetic versions. What's the safest base we can use? Oh yes, another synthetic sandalwood wrapped in linen musks to make this as soft as can be. Because above all we want you to feel comfortable with your purchase.

Joy by Dior has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

Of all the big brands Dior has been the one which has been the most openly cynical about the mass-market consumer. The whole Miss Dior Cherie-Miss Dior debacle is a prime example. Joy by Dior joins that list of dubious distinction.

Bottom line, Joy by Dior is going to sell like crazy. It is a perfume for people who don’t like perfume but still want to wear perfume. It is going to find its way into Holiday presents galore. If it isn’t the best-selling new perfume this upcoming shopping season, I’ll be shocked. It is why I’ll be shaking my head every time I smell it in the mall for the rest of the year.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Dior.

Mark Behnke

13 thoughts on “New Perfume Review: Joy by Dior- Shaking My Head

  1. Is this your first negative review! Remarkable. – I like that phrase "a perfume for people who don’t like perfume". This shows the status perfume has claimed back, it is part of the individualization people keep on looking for, along with the luxury attribute. May I add I appreciate Jennifer Lawrence as a seriously good actress and personality, and that I am nearly dissapointed to see her in all these Dior advertisements (more than nearly would be naive, I know). 

    • Marcus,

      Not my first but it is a rare occurrence. I share your admiration for Ms. Lawrence but a woman has to make a buck. I hope she’s getting paid as much, or more, than Charlize Theron did for her J’Adore ads.


  2. " a perfume for the people who don't like perfume " !!! Geniale!!!! 

    I was actually very confused when i learned of the name of the perfume and was thinkinhg: how dare they call it Joy, knowing Jean Patou's masterpiece, and at the time selling as the most expensive perfume in the world – Patou being a jeweler!!!! i have not tried this Joy, and probably won't

  3. Will I be able to purchase original Joy anywhere? It is the most magnificent. I wore Miss Dior ( in the black and white herringbone trimmed bottle) in high school. The new Miss Dior isn’t right. Why isn’t success enough?  Why must they tinker with something so perfect as Joy or Miss Dior?I pray nothing so awful happens to my Chanel 5 !

  4. What a spledid article, cynical it maybe, but truthful it is to the core. I'm now a retired pensioner, (having worked in the UK perfume industry for many years) but remember  how revered Joy by Jean Pilou was by my friends throughout the perfume industry. There was hardly a single perfume launch in heady days when I was in business that did not pay respect to this masterpiece. For over 50 years I became aware of so many "new" perfumes that had some reference to part of Joy!

    So, with Dior owning the old Joy what are the chances of still buying any?

  5. Sad that few consumers knew about the classic Joy. An anecdote…at age 15 in 1969 I lived in a small city near Buffalo. Not a haven of chic. I was addicted to glossy magazines and told my mother I really wanted Joy for Christmas. I had no right to ask for something so extravagant and most people we knew wouldn't have known it from Joy dishwashing detergent. Yet my parents bought me a crystal flagon..small but so elegant and how sophisticated I felt. Even when it was empty, the scent lingered. A lovely memory.

  6. My name is Joy and I love the original perfume. I have enough to last me for ages luckily because I would never want a fake copy with the same name.

  7. What about the recently released J’adore in Joy by Dior? Seems like they’ve already used the name once, why use it again??

  8. So Dior bought the right to call their perfume Joy? They have forgotten that their demographic who can afford good perfumes are slightly older and will only think of Patou when they hear Joy. I absolutely loved the scent of the real Joy on others, but sadly, on me it had faint notes of the barnyard. 

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