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?