Joy was created as a reaction to the 1929 Wall Street crash, which had diminished the fortunes of Jean Patou's wealthy American clientele. Despite its elevated price and the depressed economic environment, Joy became a success and has remained Jean Patou's most famous fragrance. In 2002, the House of Jean Patou created Enjoy, a contemporary take on Joy meant for younger women.
Joy is composed primarily of a combination of jasmine and rose; 10,000 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen roses are required to create 30ml of the parfum, contributing to its high retail price.Joy also contains other flowers such as ylang ylang, michelia and tuberose. Given its many ingredients, Joy does not smell like a specific flower. According to Luca Turin, "the whole point of its formula was to achieve the platonic idea of a flower, not one particular earthly manifestation."  The bottle was created by French architect and artisan Louis Süe and was designed to have a simple, classical feel.