Gucci – Rush

Gucci Rush

Gucci Rush

Like many dedicated perfumistas, my fragrance collection spans a wide variety of genres: from the ultra-rare and “très cher” to the timeless and chic, without discrimination for cost, high or low as it may be. After all there are still bargain fragrances out there, and while the folks at Chanel would have us forget, there was a time when Chanel No 5 could be found in drugstores.

All of this by way of introduction. While some fragrances are no doubt contemplative à la Serge Lutens or intellectual (here’s looking at you Guerlain), we must all leave a bit of room for pure, unadultered joy.

No fragrance lends itself better to this category in my opinion than Gucci Rush. Though it has references to some of the great classics, like Mitsouko and Diorella, they are delivered with the tongue in cheek, larger-than-could-possibly-be-tasteful style of Gucci under Tom Ford’s reign.

Gucci Rush starts off with a blast reminiscent of hairspray and fruit – in fact it feels like poking your head into a young woman’s room as she is preparing for a fun night out with friends: scented bath gel, fruity shampoo, hairspray, perfume and body lotion. Rush is like a cacophony of scents that should not work together but absolutely do, as evidenced by the number of suitors this young woman has attracted after a night of dancing.

Rush’s white florals are sparkling and playful, leaving the heavier indoles to its more serious floral sisters. A hint of coriander lends dry spice and drama to the fragrance and keeps it from veering into a traditional fruity floral. The drydown is pure, if not strange, olfactory heaven.

Rush morphs into a synthetic milky peach which lacks Mitsouko’s solemnity but is nevertheless beautiful. Similar to Dior’s Diorella, Rush’s peach is warmed and mellowed by patchouli, but Rush manages to maintain a modern, slightly plasticky edge.

Rush is a terrific fragrance for going out, or for those days when the gravity of life is too much to handle. Despite the beauty and elegance of its composition, Rush does not take itself too seriously (as evidenced by it’s plastic, cassette-like flacon) and maintains a joyful edge.

While with most posts I search for an image to convey the visual equivalent of the olfactory sensation, Rush couldn’t be contained to a two-dimensional image. Embedded then is a link to a remix of French singer Yelle’s “A Cause de Garçons” – the perfect combination of fun, trash, brash and the simple joy of movement. What a genius Michel Almairac has proven to be.

Notes: Gardenia, Freesia, Jasmine, Rose, Coriander, Vanilla, Patchouli, Vetiver.


Flu Season

Flu Season

sick woman

No one likes feeling unwell, but for those of us that relish their daily dose of fragrance, a stuffy nose can be especially distressing. So what to do on those days when we cannot smell our favorite fragrance or worse, the scent of any complex fragrance sends us into a sneezing fit or brings on a seasonal migraine?

Here are a few scented luxuries which can help you survive the flu season and bring some relief as a result.

Tea Tree Oil – Tea Tree Oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree. It has been touted as a cure-all for conditions ranging from acne and skin infections if applied topically to sore throat and ear infections. My favorite is adding it to a steamy bath, or better yet a humidifier – it works wonders on coughs and congestion. Tea Tree Oil has a pleasant, slightly medicinal scent somewhat similar to eucalyptus – the scent is a comfort in itself – one small whiff and I know I am on the road to recovery.

Ginger – Ginger works wonders for sore throats and upset tummies. A small, peeled knob boiled in water makes a wonderful tea, especially when mixed with a little lemon juice and honey. My favorite however is to boil it in some savory broth and add some spicy lemon pepper. It is a sure-fire fever reducer and reminds me of the exciting and exotic perfumes which I will be wearing once the flu has departed.

Lavender – Lavender has been used for centuries in various preparations and its scent is known for its calming effect. Lavender oil can also be used to relieve migraines and bring relief to those suffering from sinus infections. Like Tea Tree Oil, a few drops in the bath or a humidifier should do the trick. Aside from its relaxing scent, Lavender is the quintessential symbol of the South of France. What better way to relax than to imagine beautiful fields of Lavender swaying in the warm summer Provençal breeze!

French Lavender Fields

Vicks VapoRub – a traditional cure-all for congestion and coughs, Vicks has a strong menthol smell which many find off-putting. Vicks to me conjures memories of being cared for by my mother and grandmother – so nothing could be more comforting. Aside from the immediate relief it provides from painful congestion and respiratory distress, the icy menthol blast calls to mind one of my favorite fragrances, Tubereuse Criminelle and reminds me that my days of sickness are sure to be limited.

Linden Tea – Fever, congestion and aches and pains can make it difficult to relax for sleep. Linden Tea, or Tilleul or Tilo as it is known in French and Spanish, makes a wonderfully relaxing tea and is known for relieving insomnia, anxiety and is even believed to reduce blood pressure. Linden Tea is  also widely used in Europe for its diaphoretic or fever-reducing effects. It has a mild, slightly honeyed, herbal flavor which makes it perfect for inducing sleep.

Wishing all my readers good health!

Nina Ricci – Farouche

Nina Ricci – Farouche


The Nina Ricci fragrance line is one that I did not traditionally have much exposure to growing up, as none of the women in my family wore it. I did have a distant aunt who sometimes wore L’Air du Temps, but we’ll save that for another post. No wonder then that the house’s 1973 release Farouche failed to catch my attention until now (there were after all plenty of other fragrances to keep me busy).

I recently purchased an assortment of vintage perfume minis, and one fragrance included in the assortment was Nina Ricci’s Farouche in the Eau de Toilette concentration. While I have a decent knowledge of French, I will admit that I was not familiar with the word “Farouche”. Interestingly, I did not look it up until after I had tested the fragrance several times, fearing it might skew my impression. In that vein, I will keep its meaning silent until the end of the post.

Farouche opens with some fizzy aldehydes adding lift to a soft orange and galbanum melange. While galbanum fragrances generally make weak in the knees, Farouche comes on like a whisper. The heart unfolds to a gentle floral bouquet of jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and geranium, to which iris lends a hint of powder, While carnation and clary sage add a bit of a twist, Farouche’s overall character remains moderate. The fragrance wafts up again after a about an hour or so, revealing a mossy, vetiver base, reminiscent of classics such as Ma Griffe, but executed with a subtle hand.

In fact, my main issue with Farouche was its faint presence, which made an otherwise lovely fragrance with all of the hallmarks of a classic, slightly forgettable in the face of other mossy, green giants. That being said, this lightness of character would make it a perfect scent for someone just starting to explore the genre, as it touches on all of the aspects of a mossy green floral. I can only imagine how lovely the parfum concentration must be, though I have heard that is subtle as well. The Eau de Toilette bottle is lovely, with its slender neck is reminiscent of a swan, while the flacon for the parfum (reportedly made by Lalique) resembles a heart.

And in case you are still wondering (and have not searched for it yourself), Farouche translates as shy. Perfect.

Floral Aldehyde

Notes: Aldehydes, Mandarin, Bergamot, Galbanum, Peach, Honeysuckle, Carnation, Iris, Lily, Clary Sage, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Rose, Geranium, Cardamom, Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, Oakmoss, Vetiver.