Dior Joy : Perfume Review

22222

Louis Vuitton has done it. It managed to buy a stake in the venerable house of Jean Patou and to add it to its impressive collection of brands. It announced reviving the Jean Patou fashion line and promised many exciting developments. The first one arrived and I’m not holding my breath for the subsequent ones. Dior launched a perfume called Joy. Why let such a brilliant name languish on an old-fashioned perfume when it can grace a modern, pink-tinted juice?

The press release was ecstatic. “Grasse Rose, in both Essence and Absolute form, as well as heady Jasmine, blend with these delectable fruits [bergamot and mandarin] in a vibrant smile. Warm and creamy sandalwood embraces us in softness.” That Dior needs to hire a good copywriter is obvious, but even more so the fact that besides the name, Dior also took the main idea of Jean Patou’s Joy, rose and jasmine. What would be the result, I wondered?

The result is that Dior Joy is Allure Lite. The  rose and jasmine are folded into a sandalwood accord reminiscent of Chanel’s fragrance. From the top notes to the drydown, Joy follows the course of Allure, but in a softer, more transparent interpretation. The mandarin peel dusted with sugar, the rose blended with the lemony jasmine, a touch of apricot and orange blossom that melt into the sandalwood and custard-like vanilla. Even the same contrast between the sweet citrus and creamy woods is maintained.

The main difference is in the emphasis, however. Joy is more transparent, with few curves and twists. It has more radiance, however, and its sillage is less heavy and sweet than that of Allure. The finish is soft–sweet musk and woods, with just enough creamy sandalwood to keep things from becoming bland. Allure, by contrast, feels buxom and plush next to Joy, although its sweetness has always been the main reason why I didn’t like wearing it.

In summary, Joy is pleasant to wear, soft and tender. It doesn’t have a big presence and lasts moderately well, but while it does, it’s pretty.

What I liked less was its whole concept, from a name pilfered from Jean Patou to the core idea. Selecting a star rating for Joy turned out to be challenge. It’s a solid 3 star perfume as far as technique, but as far as originality, it fails massively. Add to it Dior’s insistence on cannibalizing its classical brands, and I’m at loss on how to grade it to be fair to the perfume and to remain honest to myself. 2 stars was my compromise.

This review is of the Eau de Parfum formulation. There are also matching body products, which smell very close to the perfume.

Subscribe

95 Comments

  • Nora Szekely: Hi Victoria and perfume lovers,
    I have my own conspiracy theory regarding Dior copying Chanel instead of being original .
    Coco Mademoiselle : Miss Dior Cherie,
    exclusive line : collection privee
    new pillar scent Gabrielle : Joy
    And just have a look at Gabrielle photoshoot and the latest pics of Natalie Portman for Dior (the pics where she’s only wearing a blanket in bed), the similarity is uncanny.
    But is this new scent a substitue for Patou’s Joy for real? I cannot believe it…:( October 5, 2018 at 8:28am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t think that Joy will go anywhere, but now that LVMH owns major stakes in Jean Patou, they can use the name any way they want. October 5, 2018 at 9:13am Reply

    • jean adkins: i was underwhelmed too. and the name raised my expectations. October 8, 2018 at 11:09am Reply

  • MJ: The only thing that impressed me about this fragance is that I discovered a Rolling Stone song that I can like (the tv advert uses She’s a Rainbow). I’m not fan of the Rolling’s music (don’t hate me…) October 5, 2018 at 9:08am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t seen it yet, but usually Dior ads are really well-done. On the negative side, it means less money for the actual juice. October 5, 2018 at 9:14am Reply

      • Sandra Duff: This song was also used in 1999 when Apple released their iMac coloured computers… I’ll always associate it with that ad. October 8, 2018 at 3:13pm Reply

    • moi: It’s also being used in an ad for Alexa. I always wonder about artists who allow their songs to be used in the service of selling something. Do they need the money, or do they believe in the product? October 11, 2018 at 8:08am Reply

  • Lisa: Joy, Gabrielle, Twilly…all perfumes that would have the founders of the respective houses saying “what?!!!!”
    All “nice” but that’s not what we expect from iconic fragrance houses is it? October 5, 2018 at 9:27am Reply

    • Victoria: I did like Twilly very much, though, but the rest, yes, I agree. October 8, 2018 at 6:25am Reply

  • OperaFan: This is a truly sad day… Ugh!
    Joy was my wedding day perfume, and to me, Joy will always be the one by Jean Patou. It’s sad that LVMH couldn’t come up with an original name of their own that they need to steal one from a gold standard. October 5, 2018 at 9:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Given their size and influence, it’s not a good precedent. October 8, 2018 at 6:25am Reply

  • Marsi: I found Dior Joy quite insipid and forgettable. I threw away my sample after testing it, then doused myself in Guerlain. October 5, 2018 at 9:46am Reply

    • Marie Pomelat: I totally agree.
      It is simply disgusting. October 5, 2018 at 10:08am Reply

    • Matty: I received a very small sample of Dior Joy. After about an hour I couldn’t smell anything. Did the same as you. Sprayed Guerlain Shalimar Souffle. Much better. October 5, 2018 at 10:20am Reply

      • Victoria: I know that many didn’t like Mon Guerlain, but I find it much more interesting in comparison to Dior Joy. October 8, 2018 at 6:29am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t blame you. October 8, 2018 at 6:26am Reply

  • Marie Pomelat: Very disappointing.
    Artificial and vulgar.
    An insult to the original Joy.

    Marie Pomelat October 5, 2018 at 9:52am Reply

    • Victoria: As if they couldn’t pick another name. October 8, 2018 at 6:26am Reply

  • Elisa: Argh. October 5, 2018 at 9:59am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s hard to get too excited over these big launches. October 8, 2018 at 6:27am Reply

  • Debi Sen Gupta: Tried Joy last month. Not impressed October 5, 2018 at 10:11am Reply

    • Victoria: I gave it several careful trials, and every time was the same result–ok, but not special. October 8, 2018 at 6:27am Reply

  • Carla: I could not judge the scent at Saks as I was revolted by the pink juice, the stolen name and another picture of a woman with wet hair and lips parted, looking far from intelligent. The saleswoman made much of the fancy heavy cap that clicks into place, and of the fact that they have been instructed to call it “Dior Joy” not Joy. Yuck October 5, 2018 at 10:13am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, yes, the cap seems to be the main attraction point. October 8, 2018 at 6:28am Reply

  • Anita T. Monroe: I still love Patou’s originals, especially Joy and 1000….also their summer fragrance Eau de Patou..I don’t like the “modern” use of the name…I tried the fragrance and thought that it would be nice for very young girls who do not yet know the depths that fragrance can reach. October 5, 2018 at 10:18am Reply

    • Victoria: The whole thing about it is just so unoriginal. October 8, 2018 at 6:28am Reply

  • Debby: I can see how it was difficult for you to give it a star rating, Victoria, it’s well done and smells OK in a pretty and inoffensive way. But to take that name and then come up with something so utterly dull and at such a high price point is insulting to knowledgeable perfume customers. At that cost per ml I would much rather support niche and indie perfumers.
    Personally, I think the advertising is terrible, it really doesn’t sit well with the fashion side of Dior’s business. October 5, 2018 at 10:38am Reply

    • Victoria: This image of Jennifer Lawrence manages to be so bland. October 8, 2018 at 6:29am Reply

  • Pklagrange: I thought it was very pleasant – not a compliment. October 5, 2018 at 10:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, pleasant enough. October 8, 2018 at 6:30am Reply

  • Andreasd: Pass October 5, 2018 at 10:41am Reply

  • Fawn: I received a sample, sniffed it (admittedly I have not tried it on skin) and lost interest. It smells so much like the soft, sweet, girly fragrances prevalent now… hence it’s not captivating to me. I am a child of the 80’s… when fragrances, good or bad, had their own distinct personalities. I miss that. October 5, 2018 at 11:09am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s not as sugary as most gourmands, so at least for that I’m thankful. October 8, 2018 at 6:30am Reply

  • D: My first thought on seeing the ads for this new fragrance was “I wonder how they cleared this with the old Joy.” Now I know, they bought the company.
    Too bad (at least from a marketing perspective) Dior did not get this done when Lawrence’s “Joy” movie was coming out. October 5, 2018 at 11:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, easy! When one has deep pockets. October 8, 2018 at 6:31am Reply

  • Alicia: Being devoted to Dior’s Eau Sauvage, I was quite upset when they called Sauvage a completely different fragrance. Still, it was within Dior, and they reserved the original one for my beloved Eau.What has happened now really disgusts me. They have stolen the name from an iconic fragrance of a different company, Joy is Patou’s. Although my mother was a Caron’s woman, she made an exception for Joy, ” the most expensive” of perfumes. I confess that I have never been very impressed by it. I wore a few times the EdT, but never the perfume. Although not a Joy’s lover, I feel that to take the unique name of a venerated scent is more than bad manners; it’s coarse. LVMH should have known better. No matter how good its roses and jasmines might be (rose and jasmine: one has to be shameless!), I will never know the joy of this Joy. October 5, 2018 at 11:40am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s their standard practice, I’m afraid. October 8, 2018 at 6:31am Reply

  • Joy Erickson: It is sad to think of these iconic fragrances falling by the wayside. I don’t wear Joy, but do wear 1000. Thankfully I have a full bottle of this grand fragrance. I purchased it two years ago. It had been reformulated, but still seemed the same to me with the richness of violet.
    Thank you for this review, Victoria. October 5, 2018 at 12:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also don’t wear Joy, but I don’t want to be disappear. October 8, 2018 at 6:32am Reply

  • Jennifer Marie Shaw: I am stunned that Dior could brazenly get away by doing this. Although I am very glad to hear that it is a meh fragrance. This is exactly why I support niche perfume companies more. I loved wearing Joy over the years- both
    the perfume and the body creme. October 5, 2018 at 1:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: The Jean Patou Joy body cream is very good. October 8, 2018 at 6:33am Reply

  • Alicia: What to say? First the mess with Miss Dior, then they used “Sauvage” to name something else than the glorious Eau Savage, but at least my beloved survives, and Miss Dior was more or less resurrected after being temporarily disinherited of her name in favor of a fruity a la mode, different as far as possible from the elegant green chyre created for Miss Dior, Dior’s sister. At least these were sins within the family. Now with LVMH Dior has expanded into alien territory. Mr Dior wouldn’t have allowed such bad manners. Mr Alméras, the creator of Joy, must be appalled that this frail pretty child was named like his opulent creature, and to more insult, made also of jasmine and rose. The iconic Joy is altogether venerable, certainly including her name. Miss Jean called her “the most expensive perfume.” An intoxicating invitation: it became the second most sold fragrance in the world. My mother, faithfully devoted to Caron, always had some Joy. I adore Narcisse Noir, delighted in Narcisse Blanc, Nuit de Noel, even Tabac Blond, but never fell in love with Joy. I have used its EdT from time to time, but never the perfume. Although not a lover of Joy, this coarse lack of respect offends me. LVMH is shameless. October 5, 2018 at 2:13pm Reply

  • kat: I haven’t been able to sample this. But I have thoughts about the campaign ad. After reading this review I guess the ad matches the scent or vice-versa. They photoshopped the vivacious and funny Jennifer Lawrence into her own wax figure for Madame Tussauds. October 5, 2018 at 3:54pm Reply

    • maja: You’re so right, she really looks waxy and artificial. I am not a fan of her or her acting but I remember thinking she was reduced to something awkward and contrary to her personality. October 6, 2018 at 3:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: Do try it. I never want to discourage others from smelling perfumes for themselves, even if I’m not excited about them. I agree about the ad. October 8, 2018 at 6:34am Reply

  • Severine: Very disappointing perfume. Has no class. So commercial. Insult to the name “Joy” and the house of Dior. Save your money for something else. October 5, 2018 at 5:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s what I’ll be doing. October 8, 2018 at 6:34am Reply

  • Sarah: Your assessment is spot on, Victoria. October 5, 2018 at 10:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Allure is a bombshell in comparison, though. 🙂 October 8, 2018 at 6:34am Reply

  • Potimarron: I agree with your thoughts about the advertising copy too. I guess it must be hard to write advertising copy for perfume that isn’t laughable. I was recently sent a sample of the new l’Interdit and the advertising copy on that was a bit cringe-making too. October 6, 2018 at 2:44am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s hard, but I guess that it wasn’t written by a native English speaker. Some parts sound absurd. October 8, 2018 at 6:36am Reply

  • Ajda: I think I may need it after all. I went through 2 bottles of Allure edt in my early 20s, but I can’t wear it anymore, or maybe it has changed too much. Allure lite works, though. I don’t really mind the name stealing, everyone knows Patou was first. October 6, 2018 at 6:03am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s not the matter of who was first or who came second. Stealing is stealing. When we complain about the lack of originality in new fragrances, the unethical industry practices are to blame in no small part. October 8, 2018 at 6:39am Reply

  • n: What also irks me, besides how this smells, is that photo. They seemingly copied an iconic photo of Grace Kelly in water with wet blond hair smoothed back in the same way. Sorry if anyone is a fan, but she is no Grace Kelly, and she looks awkward in my opinion. The lack of originality extends beyond the scent itself. October 6, 2018 at 9:55am Reply

    • Victoria: I didn’t make the connection at first, but you’re right, it does look like it. October 8, 2018 at 6:39am Reply

  • Michael: Thanks Victoria, your review is, as per usual, spot on. I am so over pillar fragrances from mainstream designer label brands. I took a cursory look at the ingredients for faux Joy and thought “meh …” And I was right: insipid, inoffensive, predictable. Calculated to appeal to as many different demographics as possible.

    One thing you could say about the original Jean Patou Joy, that you can’t say about faux Joy, is that love it or hate it, the former had its own distinct(ive) character.

    I find it quire depressing that in an era where we have remarkable niche fragrances and innovative collections like Les Exclusifs de Chanel, I’m still being “assaulted” by sales assistants trying to entice me with Sauvage in all its horrific incarnations. Sacre bleu! October 6, 2018 at 10:10am Reply

    • Victoria: Very true. I agree with you. October 8, 2018 at 6:40am Reply

  • Aurora: I was disappointed that they couldn’t come up with an original name. They must be very poor in ideas at LVMH. For the fragrance, my hopes weren’t very high, but I do enjoy Miss Dior Le Parfum, it has the small but important merit of not being cloying on my skin and of developing, I wish it were even bolder, the patchouli less clean, I suppose it’s one of my guilty pleasures as I don’t think it was well received by perfumistas, now, the new Joy from your description sounds like a solid no, no way. October 6, 2018 at 12:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: I liked the original Miss Dior Cherie formula created by Christine Nagel. It was such a fun gourmand perfume. I haven’t tried it recently in its Miss Dior guise, but I should find a sample. October 8, 2018 at 6:41am Reply

      • Danaki: The most recent Miss Dior has, according to the SA, a red wine accord. However, on me it is a sour mess, maybe the rosewood or the pink pepper, but the citrus prevail. The dry down not terrible, but boring. Totally unnecessary these days, better options (that are cheaper) are everywhere. I prefer Agent Provocateur options for the price.
        I have a mini of the Miss Dior Cherie caramel/popcorn gourmand, and it is much appreciated but hardly worn. October 8, 2018 at 7:28am Reply

        • Victoria: I can’t imagine a red wine accord improving anything in that fragrance, but I’ll still give it a try. Thank you. October 8, 2018 at 8:08am Reply

          • Aurora: When you have a chance, do give a try to Le Parfum which is the only recent Miss Dior I tested, I would be curious to have your expert opinion – afterall, it is rated quite highly on Fragrantica. October 12, 2018 at 6:54am Reply

            • Victoria: I will do! It’s been a while. October 15, 2018 at 9:09am Reply

  • maja: I was very curious to try it the other day (mostly for the whole story about the name, honestly) and was quite disappointed. It’s almost nice but unimpressive. And totally bland for the amount of advertising, famous faces and blurbs used.
    What I did like was (against all odds, all the history behind and all Audrey Hepburn fans) the new L’Interdit. Such a cute, little, fun tuberose, everything I actually wanted Twilly to be. I might end up with a tiny bottle of it. Will test it again, though. October 6, 2018 at 3:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also liked L’Interdit. A nicely done white floral. October 8, 2018 at 6:43am Reply

  • Sandra Simich: No character! New Joy smells like most of new, boring, pink fragrances. Jennifer Lawrence is beautiful, funny and smart with a vibrant personality (although they made her look different in this shot), so maybe they were trying to compensate for this disappointing fragrance.
    I’m glad I bought Patou Joy pure perfume and a nice size spray bottle after reading The Guide. I don’t reach for it often but I’m glad I have it.
    Thank God for other perfumes we have and love that are original and worth spending money on. Today I wore Allure pure perfume as I like that scent only in extrait version on me, and when that felt too tame by noon 😂😂, I sprayed Hermes Galop extrait and felt so happy! October 6, 2018 at 9:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: I prefer Allure in the extrait version. The EDP/EDT were too sharp for me, although I used to wear them too. October 8, 2018 at 6:44am Reply

  • Qwendy: Well for the copy all they need is a native English speaker instead of assuming that they can do without, this happens so often here in France it’s comical.

    As for the name the color and the juice, it’s pathetic and useless, another one bites the dust! October 7, 2018 at 8:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Very true! The refusal to hire a native English speaker to at least proofread the final version is the reason why we have to read reams of awkward gibberish from these large perfume brands. On the other hand, awkward gibberish passing as a perfume press release is almost an industry standard. October 7, 2018 at 9:09am Reply

      • Qwendy: I think it’s a kind of hubris … they think that English is so much simpler than French (which in its directness it is) so if someone speaks it well they can write it too!

        Nothing learned from how much harder the dictée is than everyday conversation in French :-). And it’s not just for the perfume biz, almost anything that adds notes in English, like concert halls or almost any website!

        I just helped a truly bilingual friend with his website for Anglophones because he understood the pitfalls from his own experience so I am extra sensitive to it 🙃 October 7, 2018 at 9:21am Reply

        • Victoria: The style of writing is also different and it doesn’t always translate well. October 8, 2018 at 6:46am Reply

          • Qwendy: Exactly! French can seem truly florid in relation to American English! Xxx October 8, 2018 at 11:00am Reply

            • Victoria: I helped a friend to write a bio. We started in French, and it went really well. Then she wanted to translate it word by word into English, and I had a hard time convincing her that it just wouldn’t work. 🙂 October 8, 2018 at 12:08pm Reply

              • Qwendy: That’s when it gets really interesting, coming up against the culturally different point of view on communication, right? Especially for you who have the mindsets of 3 or 4 different cultures that you move between. Fascinating! October 8, 2018 at 12:47pm Reply

                • Victoria: That’s always fascinating. October 10, 2018 at 1:14pm Reply

  • Alicia: Very sorry that I posted twice. When I went back and didn’t see what I had written I wrote again, unaware that it takes some time to appear in the list. Again, my excuses October 8, 2018 at 1:09am Reply

    • Victoria: Please don’t worry about it, dear Alicia. Yes, there is a lag in a comment becoming visible. October 8, 2018 at 6:46am Reply

  • PPERFUMEKEV: What a travesty! This so called JOY is most unpleasant and smells like a jumbled up mess of all the other perfumes in a department store mixed together. I tried it on and was immediately reminded of all the Miss Dior variations. A very typical and blah smelling fragrance. Jean Patou is turning in his grave. Let’s take the heritage of a truly fashion and fragrance house and make it as boring as possible. October 8, 2018 at 11:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Seriously, if one takes the classical name, might as well as create a new classic. But that’s now how these big brands operate these days. October 8, 2018 at 12:08pm Reply

  • PPERFUMEKEV: Thank you Victoria, So very true about the big brands. So much focus on cute marketing and panel testing. Being a perfumer by trade I know that they could have made something wonderfully modern and strikingly beautiful. The glory days of perfumery are not over. It just takes more guts to create something that is outstanding. However when you try to please everyone you end up pleasing just a few. October 8, 2018 at 1:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’ve put it really well! October 10, 2018 at 1:15pm Reply

  • ChristineM: Dear Victoria
    I was reminiscing recently about the perfume launches in the 1980’s and how exciting it was to see such perfumes as Coco, Giorgio, Passion (and other Annick Goutal perfumes), Diva etc, and to try samples. (Sigh- wish I could go back in time and buy up). On my first trip to Paris in October 1986 my shopping list included several French perfumes and it was so lovely to know I had bought them in Paris. When I saw a new perfume launch I was interested; but disappointed with the name ‘Joy’- is the market focus on younger women who would not know the association with the past famous fragrance? If I can I will try it but am not expecting anything special. October 8, 2018 at 6:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Definitely give it a try! I’m curious to hear what you think. October 10, 2018 at 1:20pm Reply

      • ChristineM: I tried it today and still have it on my wrist. I’m afraid I don’t like it! At first it was a bit reminiscent of Dioressence; whilst it is OK it does not attract me enough. Other perfumes I have bought in recent years I have enjoyed much more October 11, 2018 at 3:19am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you for letting me know. I’m curious about its resemblance to Dioressence, which I haven’t noticed, since once I made the Allure connection, it stayed with me. But I’ll try it again with Dioressence in mind. October 11, 2018 at 5:28am Reply

          • Christine M: At least it has staying power-it has lasted for over 8 hours on my wrist so far! October 11, 2018 at 7:31am Reply

  • Moi: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It all seems so silly, this constant barrage of fluffy pink juices aimed at the hearts of—whom, I’m not quite sure, exactly. It’s impossible to keep up. The only reason I even know what this smells like is because I got a free sample with a recent Sephora order. The juice is meh, the name makes me angry, since there will only ever be—and should be—one Joy. Which, thankfully, I own in several vintage iterations, to remind me of what a symphonic juicy floral can smell like. October 11, 2018 at 8:18am Reply

    • Victoria: The problem of identical fragrance launches is so complex at this point that it’s not only the brands’ fault. The way fragrance is sold, distributed, marketed is all so complicated and it makes these kind of launches a good business tactic. But in the long run everyone loses out. October 15, 2018 at 9:07am Reply

  • Paulus Nelson: I have a feeling they will sell bucketloads of this, despite the overall generic quality of this fragrance. I’d say let the masses have their expensive tacky fun, as long as they keep the classics rolling. Though with the way they reformulate like crazy I’m not sure how much of the classics is there anymore. Went to a Dior counter recently looking to buy my favorite Dolce Vita and I can hardly recognize it anymore. I put the tester bottle down and move on to the Chanel booth nearby. Before I know it I was walking home with a bottle of good ol’ Coco Mlle. Even that is not quite what it was before, but it seems to me like Chanel is a bit more careful with their reformulations. October 15, 2018 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Anne S: First-time commenter here. I actually first came here because of this perfume. I first smelled it at Sephora and my first impression was: I feel like I’ve smelled this 100 times before. Smelled again, and had the same reaction. The amount that got on my skin stayed there for a long time—which would have been lovely if I enjoyed the scent. My next step was to search out reviews to see if others felt similarly. And it seems that they do!

    Love your site! I’m a casual perfume aficionado, but I do enjoy finding a new favorite from time to time. November 1, 2018 at 11:16am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Anne! And welcome to Bois de Jasmin. Yes, I think you’ve captured really well the reactions of many of us. Been there, smelled that. 🙂 November 2, 2018 at 4:05am Reply

  • Mike Mcnaulty: To me this is Dior’s contribution to the Holiday shopping season. Released around the end of August Joy is a nice fragrance and is heavy on the Jasmine and White Musk notes. It does grab your attention and does a fairly good job at holding it. The sillage is pretty moderate but somewhat leans to the soft side. Overall not a bad fragrance. I’d personally give it a solid 3 stars. November 3, 2018 at 1:36am Reply

What do you think?

From the Archives

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2018 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy