Scent Joan Holloway

What to make of Mad Men‘s Joan Holloway? The way I see it, she’s the halfway point between liberated working woman Peggy Olson and repressed housewife Betty Draper. Joan has her progressive moments: she champions the use of birth control for single women at a time when even the prescribing doctors considered such women to be total Slutty McHobags. On the other hand, Joan’s loftiest goal is to snag a rich husband.

I’ve always thought that Joan’s defining moment came in the episode “Six Month Leave”, which discusses the death of Marilyn Monroe. The normally unflappable, “No crying in the breakroom” Joan is in tears at the loss of her idol. Joan’s affinity with Marilyn is telling: like Marilyn, Joan’s curves are as much a restriction as they are an advantage.

Joan’s perfume of choice is the seductive oriental Shalimar, which is both historically accurate and well-suited to her character. I could easily imagine Joan in quite a few of the classic Guerlains, particularly Vol de Nuit or Jicky. Joan would want a full-bodied, voluptuous perfume, but it should have a little intelligence to it, too. How would you scent Joan Holloway?

12 thoughts on “Scent Joan Holloway

  1. I feel kind of bad saying that I’ve actually never watched an episode of Mad Men so I can’t really say what other perfumes would be suited for Joan, I will say though that I find her absolutely stunning. I don’t understand why people are always making a fuss over how large she allegedly is. I see nothing plus size about this woman. I apparently am now a size zero according to Bloomingdale’s ready to wear couture — makes me wonder what girls smaller than me are even buying and as far as overall body-type aesthetic I’m pretty much a Joan Holloway myself.

    Yes, she’s considerably taller but I can’t even begin to fathom where some stylists are getting their snark from. This is a gorgeous lady. I don’t care what her dress size is, her proportions are perfect for her.

    Which, apparently according to a recent survey in UK Cosmo, ladies want to look like Christina Hendricks over Kate Moss.

    Going by aesthetic alone, Shalimar as well as other bold classic Guerlains are completely suited for her. There’s something about the redhair that makes me just think that she’d wear a sexy sophisticated oriental that she probably couldn’t entirely afford.

    1. I can’t blame you at all, Mad Men is super slow-paced. I am occasionally guilty of just youtube-ing the Joan parts.

      There was an article a day or two ago somewhere about how designers are unwilling to lend Christina Hendricks a dress for red carpet events, which is honestly just flabbergasting to me. People love this woman. Any dress that she wears on the show sells out within an hour. I cannot believe that any designer could really be so stupid as to turn down such an opportunity because of their weird-ass fear of women who did not buy their breasts at the doctor’s office.

      1. I just get concerned when people are raving about shows but can’t tell me why they like them and Mad Men seems to suffer from that. I understand the appeal of the overall aesthetic, the early 1960s, the fashion, but I wonder if that’s all people like about the series.

        And seriously? That’s ridiculous. How could anyone think that Christina Hendricks might somehow hurt their sales. I want to know who these designers are now so I can remember not to throw any money at them.

        And yeah, I love how you can have huge implants and people are just fine, but if they’re au naturel, oh no, you brazen hussy showing your overly curvaceous body, because in this world people have to either be a coat hanger or fake. Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s entirely her breasts … I think it’s her hips that scare people.

        We must remember though that Laetitia Casta was once called too ‘short & fat’ to model. Short … I’ll give them that b/c she is, fat though, I don’t know what they were smoking at the time.

      2. I suspect they were smoking what I call “fashion crack”. Keeps you thin, but makes you absolutely batshit. And yes, God willing, maybe someday I can be as “fat” as Laetitia Casta.

        The article was here: . She doesn’t name any designers, but considering that she had to have Christian freakin’ Siriano make her Emmy dress (a Project Runway winner, not exactly talking high fashion here) I would imagine that it could be pretty much anyone.

  2. I don’t watch Mad Men either, although it’s something I probably would enjoy along with Glee, if I ever managed to hijack the TV away from ESPN or Animal Planet…

    But I think CH is stunning, and in all the off-set (non-Joan) photos I’ve seen of her, she appears to have the perfect balance of well-groomed and natural. People say she’s too large? Nonsense. She looks like a real woman, in every sense I can think of.

    I admit to being jealous of the bosom… the only time I have boobs is when I’m fat. (I have them now.)

    1. You gotta try Glee! I am a BIG fan. It speaks to the Broadway geek in me.
      I had an epiphany about this the other day, actually: because the media is saturated with very thin women and implants, we have come to see “stick with boobs” as a normal body type. But in reality, it’s uncommon to have such a large chest without something in the way of a stomach, too. And as far as I am concerned, a tummy is a small price to pay for such glorious things as bosoms.

  3. I love Mad Men. Fascinating characters, although not even one of them is really an entirely Nice Person. Maybe that’s part of the appeal. Fascinating attitudes – the show makes it clear that the fifties and sixties were truly another planet. And of course it is a whole lot of fun to look at.

    As for what Joan would wear… I can’t think of anything that’s more appropriate than Shalimar. I want an aldehydic floral, but none are quite right. Or a leather, but, again, none are quite right. Shalimar it is.

    1. Yes, I think that’s definitely part of the appeal. And even the characters that I think of as “good” are not necessarily “nice”.

      I suspect that Joan would probably keep a small bottle of No 5 around, in homage to Marilyn. But other than that, I’m stumped! I should have written about Betty instead, any old delicate floral would have worked for her.

  4. I loved Mad Men – it doesn’t seem to be on anymore but I followed one series avidly.

    Shalimar works fine, though I could also see her in something ballsy like Cartier’s Baiser du Dragon or maybe Rochas Femme (which I don’t care for myself).

    1. Oh, Femme is an excellent choice! Or maybe Schiaprelli Shocking, for the bottle.

      I could be wrong, but I believe a new season of Mad Men just started! It’s on Sunday nights. Are you in the US? It could certainly be different overseas.

  5. Adore Mad Men. Resonates with me, my parents were THEM- although my mum can’t watch it as it is just “too real” for her tastes. I am a huge Mid Century Modern fan- architecture, furniture, art…this show is pure eye candy.
    Joan’s perfume Shalimar is a perfect choice! I can totally see her wearing Bal a Versailles as well and maybe even Narcisse Noir….

  6. I love Joan! And Christina, because she’s proud of her curves and so beautiful in her natural body.
    She’s got an incredible hourglass figure. I smelled Shalimar the other day in a store, and it’s just right for the character. Perhaps Fracas could work for Joan too. It’s the diva of tuberose. I think she could even pull off a man’s cologne.

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