Say say two thousand zero zero party over, oops, out of time—Prince, “1999” (from the 1982 album “1999”)
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s nineteen ninety-nine
After a week of strangelove perfume luxury, I reached for something more lowbrow: the retro classic Gucci Gucci Rush, which I’d bought without a second thought when I spotted it at my favorite local consignment shop because I’d read so much about it and felt I’d missed out without even knowing it. This perfume now makes itself known by evaporating through its container to fill my display cabinet and seep into the pages of the books I keep in there. I don’t mind, because the smell doesn’t stay on the books when I take them out. It’s funny to think of the plastic rectangular cuboid as a “bottle” when it looks more like a cassette tape case and you can hear the liquid sloshing around inside.
Launched in 1999, Gucci Rush by perfumer Michel Almairac has maintained a reputation for uniqueness. The fragrance could be synonymous with “lactonic,” which interestingly isn’t so much “milky” in a straightforward sense. It does make me think of the Japanese beverage called Calpis (or Calpico), which is made with skimmed milk, yeast, lactic acid bacterium, and sugar. Or the similar, less sweet probiotic drink Yakult.
Peach is a prominent note in Gucci Rush, although it reminds me of the watery fluid that comes out when you break the skin of the fruit when it’s not very ripe. Other notes include gardenia, freesia, coriander, rose, jasmine, and vanilla. I can pick out the coriander if I try, and I think it anchors the fruity and floral components quite well.
The freesia stands out to me, too, not by its own virtue but rather by a resemblance to its role in a less well-remembered fragrance: Dog Generation Oh My Dog! by perfumer Bernard Ellena, which was launched a year later. Which is to say that it supplies an unpretentious, artificial sweetness to the floral bouquet that feels exactly where it needs to be.
Like the fragrance itself, which is no shy bird but also is never overpowering—I usually find myself reapplying it at least once throughout a day of wear.