Gucci Rush, 1999

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Perfumer Michel Almairac.

There’s nothing I can add to the comments I’ve read about how Rush smells. Hairspray, lactones, patchouli, non-existent flowers, bubblegum, poppers. All true.

It’s the feeling, though.

There’s not even an attempt to tether this thing to anything actually botanical. Natural and chemical are words I tend not to use, because what do they mean? Nature, as we use it discussing the environment, has no meaning whatsoever when you look at it. And what matter isn’t chemical? That said, Rush’s value is that it is unapologetically unnatural and chemical. And all the better for it.

If this is a signature scent, I pity the people close to the wearer. This is definitively an occasional scent. This is the Dionysus of perfume. It’s also monotonous, not in the sense of humdrum, but of hitting one note, and one note only. Endlessly. There is very little evolution, but why should there be? Who wants a party to end? Tania Sanchez described Rush both as large-scale outdoor art and as intended for a night out. I’ve never heard a perfume described better.

Ultimately, though, the night-on–the-town analogy gives with one hand and takes with the other. Yes, Rush is the life of the party. Absolutely. We’re all drawn to her when she arrives. But she’s also the sitter. The last one at the party, dancing drink-in-hand by herself after everyone else has left.

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