Gucci Rush falls into the “learn to love” category for me. And the way I've been stuck on “learn,” I don't know if I'll ever get to “love”. Rush is an amyl nitrite disco freakout, with lactic peach and powder and patchouli all crowding the dance floor.
I attended enough disco “tea dances” as a too-young-to-legally-be-there teen in DC with my friend Stephen Miller to be quite familiar with the eye-watering smell of poppers. They were typically snorted en masse at the crescendo of Sylvester's “You Make Me Feel Mighty Real” by ripped and sweaty gay men chasing that snootful of euphoria. A sinus-clearing odor of fruity chlorine and sweaty socks would settle over the smoke machine haze, leaving no mystery as to the origins of amyl nitrite's nickname, “Locker Room."
“Rush” is another nickname for poppers, and in creating Gucci Rush, perfumer Michel Almairac left aside the sweaty socks but held onto something of the bleachy fruit. It's fruit in a sinister funhouse mirror: the milky peach morphing into ammonia pineapple, old banana, and back to that peach.
Jasmine and patchouli phase in at some point to give Rush a passing family resemblance to other “good or gross?” fumes like Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison and Thierry Mugler Alien.
You can clearly see my struggle with Rush in the video review, as I try to get my head around the fact that it's sort of disgusting, but also possesses a streak of mellow sensuality. Mellow, that is, until it starts getting louder and louder and LOUDER -- when finally, we're all dancing to Sylvester.