When Paloma Picasso chose the Minotaur as the embodiment of her masculine fragrance, she was most likely connecting it to her father's way of identifying himself with the creature's virility and strength. The sexy perfume is certainly not meant to evoke any of the beastly aspects or the various tragedies connected with the monster. Or so we hope.
I bought the Blond a bottle of Picasso's Minotaur soon after we started dating. It was sometimes between 1993 and 1994, and while I was no longer wearing her Mon Parfum very often, I still liked her dramatic style and the fact the scents were quite different than anything else that occupied the shelves in the early 1990s. Minotaure was an unusual masculine fragrance back then as it is today. The obligatory citrus blast of the top notes is very herbal and spicy, and it soon becomes both leafy and sweet. The geranium note is very pronounced but it's not here to highlight a rose facet. Instead, the heart of the perfume is green like an overgrown and somewhat neglected garden. It's cool without being airy and has the feel and romance of an old stone bench that's half covered and hidden in the shadows.
Minotaure's dry-down is an oriental with a hint of soft leather and quite heavy on the amber. I remember it as more powerful and assertive than what I get from the current bottle I own. It used to make me swoon on date nights, but that was long ago, before the Blond had a full arsenal of Lutens, Malle and Guerlain bottles, among other lovelies. I foolishly got rid of whatever was left of that old bottle about ten years ago and only repurchased recently. Curiously, I'm the one who's been wearing Minotaure lately, while the husband has yet to even try it beyond a nostalgic sniff and quick spray on his wrist. Which brings us to the fact Minotaure is quite female friendly, as long as you don't mind some lavender and green geranium notes. I'd guess that a woman who wears Heritage and Habit Rouge can feel quite comfortable in this Paloma Picasso scent.
Minotaure can still be found online from various discounters, but considering L'Oreal (owner of Paloma Picasso perfume franchise) has stopped its production around 2004 prices have been slowly creeping up.
Pablo Picasso, King Of The Minotaurs, 1958 (abcgallery.com)
Paloma Picasso perfume ads from 1992 and 1994 (cauleurparfum.com)