Minotaure is a sweet, candied orange and amber oriental that opens on a spiced bergamot top note before launching into an aldehyde-rich floral heart. Minotaure’s rose, aldehydes, and powdery amber give off a faintly nostalgic, “perfumey” vibe that’s surprising in a 1990s masculine scent. This retro impression is augmented by a generous dose of traditional barber shop aromatics that have Minotaure flirting briefly with fougère status before it settles into its comfortably conventional powdery vanilla, amber and sandalwood drydown.
Historically, Minotaure fall in with the wave of sweet woody orientals, including Le Mâle, Égoïste, Jaïpur Homme, The Dreamer, and Roma Uomo, that define one pole of 1990s men’s perfumery. (The other being the antiseptic “fresh” fougères and aquatics.) A lack of chocolate, coffee, or licorice distances Minotaure from the gourmand lineage of A*Men, Lolita Lempicka au Masculin, and Rochas Man, but Minotaure has been compared more than once with Laura Biagiotti’s Roma Uomo, with which it shares conspicuous candied orange, sweet amber, and vanilla. The resemblance is real, but also superficial, in that Roma Uomo is a much slimmer, sweeter, and simpler composition, without Minotaure’s retro aldehydic floral notes or fougère-like aromatic elements. Next to Minotaure it winds up smelling at once more “modern” and far less sophisticated. I think Minotaure’s spiced orange and powdery amber actually align it with Patricia de Nicolaï’s slightly earlier New York, which could well have served as a template for Minotaure’s basic structure.
Taken in isolation, Minotaure is a pleasant enough scent; solid, versatile, and easy to wear. On the other hand, I don’t find it terribly distinctive, and it faces formidable competition in a crowded field. If you’re a fan of New York and want something “the same, only different” in your wardrobe, give Minotaure a try. Likewise, if you’ve worn Roma Uomo, Le Mâle, Pi, or The Dreamer, and think you’re ready for something more grown-up and sophisticated, Minotaure may also fit the bill.
Oh, yuck. In an archeological way, Minotaur is basically the missing link between Joop's sweet cherry cinnamon and Le Male's vanilla fougere. It's interesting as a museum piece, but I just don't find it to be well executed.
The topnotes are a mess, a mix of sweet red Joop smells and lavender, with a weird fennel/licorice undertone that's probably an attempt to cut the sweetness, but just smells weird. Minotaur also has that metallic sperm coumarin smell that's hidden in Le Male, but brought forward, which makes for a Secretions-Magnifique-layered-with-Joop element that's subtle, but that keeps grossing me out. Blech.
This amazing oriental statement is a breath of fresh air. I mean if you can imagine standing on top of a mountain in Japan, taking in a deep breath, with cherry blossoms dropping on your head and David Bowie singing in the background (he wore/wears Minotaure)- you have halfway summed up this fragrance. Born at the exact right time, meaning it's ok that it's brash cousin Joop came barreling thru first,Minotaure is more refined and less diabetic. I like to use the Minotaure soap before the EDT (helps it last another hour).
27th January, 2014 (last edited: 07th February, 2014)
Some people compare it to Roma Uomo. Yes it's true that it has some similarities. But this an oriental fougère (like Le mâle). It is the ancestor of the sexy oritental like le mâle and body kouros (when I smell it I have the same vibe of the 90's). Minotaure is a masculine, warm, original and modern perfume from the 90's. It has also the warmth of body kouros.
When it was launched in 1992, it was something new and surprising. Unfortunately, it didn't have a big success, maybe because the brand is not a famous designer like Chanel or Dior. Today even if Minotaure has many descendants,it is still unique and original.
A delightful Labyrinth for a complex beast
The opening is a gentle citrus combined with a tuberose that is darker and gives it a more somber note. The drydown commences with a jasmine-cum-lavender impression that is balanced very well by a flowery note. A touch of sharpness give the edge to what leads gradually into a colorful spiel of amber, sandalwood and a touch of moss, with counterbalance being provided by a vanilla that keeps up that sweetness a notch or two higher, but never in the foreground. The next phase sees a fairly restrained sweetish leather developing, like a not completely new soft Italian leather bag. Now, in the sixth hour, it fades away, just be be resurrected temporarily with a reminiscence of the top note, this time orange and a brighter rose of true beauty. Initially of good silage and projection, it is now fading again and close to my skin, and eventually, after eight hours it is gone. Marvelous!
Pros: Complexity, longevity