Ashley, I'm inspired by your Patchouli Cake question, because my very favorite fragrance (still holding the number one spot despite being forced to constantly re-audition) is a vanillic patchouli: Chanel Coromandel. It's earthy and spicy and luxurious with a not-too-sweet vanilla.
Have you ever smelled the men’s fragrance Minotaure by Paloma Picasso? One review described it as “a fresh oriental with sandalwood and patchouli." Another mentioned a note of vanilla. Many describe it as sexy, yet subtle and unique.
My husband says this has been his favorite fragrance in the past, and I just ordered it for a Valentine's Day surprise. I can't wait to smell it myself!
I would be thrilled if you could recommend a female version of Minotaure. The idea of an earthy vanilla sounds appealing...something in between “cake bakery sweet” and “just stepped out of the 70s patchouli”. Something sensual and intimate that need not be advertised from across the room.
The tedious part of the equation is that Coromandel is only sold in Chanel boutiques (and a few select department stores) and is pricey (though you do get a huge 6.8oz bottle for your 180+ bucks).
A more girlish patchouli bon-bon is Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance, its sweetness toughened by puff of smoke. Another one in that vein is Kat Von D Sinner.
By the way, a quick Google on Minotaure’s notes revealed no patchouli, only sandalwood and leather along with the vanilla, citrus and florals. So if you want to amble down that enticing path, you could try the following:
Estée Lauder Sensuous
Also pay a call on Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar by La Maison de la Vanille, though this one is pretty much holed up in the bakery, even with its woods and lavender/thyme aromatics)
And if you want to cover all the patchouli/sandalwood/vanilla bases, you can go with the latest perfume to seduce my nose: Parfumerie Generale Intrigant Patchouli. I’ve been smearing myself in Intrigant Patchouli’s delights: the sharp nag champa-esque opening, the low-key vanilla, the animal-adjacent drydown with its blend of sandalwood and a niff of mongoose hindquarters (otherwise known as civet).
(By the way, I’m still married to Coromandel, but we have an open relationship. I just haven’t told Coromandel.)
Fumeheads, do you have any Lady Minotaur thoughts for Ashley?