Pure Joy - Homemade Perfume

I have used this perfume since I was very young.  Not exclusively, but this has always been one of my favorites to wear for very fancy occasions.  I'm sure it's to do with the advertising: The costliest perfume in the world, they used to say.  Who can resist that?  Well I certainly couldn't at twentysomething when I finally saw it in a store and was able to smell it.  I had wondered for years what the famous perfume smelled like.

Joy was created in 1929 by Henri Alméras for Jean Patou. It was right around the time of the Great Depression and the fashion house had to produce something other than the wildly expensive clothes to be able to survive. It reputedly takes 28 dozen roses and 10.600 jasmine flowers to make just 30 ml of perfume along with a medley of other flowers including ylang-ylang, tuberose and iris with base notes of sandalwood and civet.  The result turned out to be the second all time best seller, the first place of course is Chanel 5.  Joy isn't for everyone taste, the fragrance of the perfume and the eau de toilette isn't exactly the same, but the scent is quite strong and is best applied in moderation.

I found this recipe somewhere on the internet and as usual I didn't write down the source.  I hate it when I do that!  But I found it again at Organic Gardening and Homesteading website.  Apparently the recipe comes from an out of print book entitled Cosmetics From The Kitchen.
I don't really know if it smells exactly like Joy, probably not so much, but it's undoubtedly a lovely scent judging from the lovely oils that are used.  I haven't been able to find ambergris essential oil, nor musk oil, but the others were easy to find.  So I used 15 drops of Sandalwood instead and just skipped the musk because I'm not sure that one can find a natural musk oil.  I'm sure it does change the scent somewhat.  But I didn't want to make an exact copy anyway.  I still have my glass of the real Joy and even if it may at some time have been expensive it isn't the most expensive perfume on the market anymore.  But this adapted blend does go very well with my Special Blend White soap.

The orginal recipe calles for Heliotrope essential oil, but the author of the blog substituted Vanilla oil instead.  It's interesting to change recipes.  I'm sure there are many ways to tweak this one to make a few great fragrance blends.  I have preferred  to used all essential oils, but the original recipe calls for perfumed oil or frangrance oils in some instances.

Pure Joy

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla essential oil (the original recipe used Heliotrope essential oil)
1 1/2 teaspoon Rose essential oil
1/2 teaspoon of Bergamot essential oil
(4 drops Musk oil) - I skipped this
15 drops of Sandalwood essential oil (the recipe called for ambergris essential oil)
15 drops Jasmine essential oil
4 drops Neroli essential oil
8 drops Angelica essential oil
8 drops Vetiver essential oil
Jojoba oil - 100 grams / 3 ounces

Blend all the ingredients and let sit for a while to merge and mellow.
Store in a dark glass.


  1. Without alcohol? Is that possible? I didn't know !
    I believe that words can not express the joy of creating your own perfume, especially because it's a natural one!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I would like to try it also!

  2. I think Ambergris is from whales. You might possibly be able to source it locally?

  3. Natalia - Yes, this is an oil, but it could be diluted with alcohol although I would prefer not to do that. I have started to use more of the eo's in an oil base as fragrance. It doesn't have the freshness of the alchohol, but is a very nice and warm way to wear fragrance. I often apply as an all over body oil (just dilute so that the scent isn't overpowering).
    Sciarretta - I certainly had it in mind when I went north this summer and tried to keep an eye out for it on the beach. I think it's hard to spot since I'm not quite sure what to look for. No one here seems to be actively collecting ambergris (and it does come from whales), but it should come to the shore occasionally. Maybe one day I'll get a lucky find :)

  4. Ther eis no way that you can find nowdays animalic oils on the mass market. Musk deer is today I belive, almost extinct species and its usage is baned. You would have to kill the animal to extract the juice and all the companies switchet to synthetic musk oil. The situation is quite similar with ambergris and civet. It is extremely expensive and sales are quite limited on few companies. The only people I found still using them (sparely) are some of the natural perfumers and niche perfumers. Please don't support animal cruelty by trying to buy these products. I recommend excellent book from Mandy Aftel from Aftelier perfumes "Esscence and Alchemy"

  5. Ksenija - I believe you are right about natural musk, but ambergris is found on beaches as it is "intestinal slurry ejected by the spermwhale" (see the link for some more (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/08/120830-ambergris-charlie-naysmith-whale-vomit-science/) So should I come across some of it on a beach here, I should be more than happy to use it. I love using natural materials when they are sustainable. I personally eat whale meat and find it delicious. *The whale meat that is sold here is not from endangered species.

  6. Great post. nice site and information. thanks for sharing it.


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