Colin Maillard got me onto this. It is a stunner!!
It has rather a rude start. Then, likely because of the Jasmine, Muguet and Moss it reminds me something of Trumper's Eucris.Very Nice!!
The drydown delights with a beautiful Leathery, Mossy, Muskiness. About 6-8 hours on my skin.
I love it, highly recommended!!
This is for me one of those cases where I am really happy and thankful that sites like Basenotes exist. If it wasn’t for the positive raving reviews here, I would have never cared for this scent – an obscure name evoking some generic seedy nightclub (sorry, I didn’t think of “that” Maxim’s at first), a rather unappealing box, very little information except for the fact that this was made by Pierre Cardin (meh...) in collaboration with a Parisian restaurant – an anecdote which wouldn’t really be enough to make me intrigued about this fragrance. If any, it would have instead almost an off-putting effect on me. Well anyway, once I read the reviews I thought it was maybe worthy a blind buy instead. I found a really cheap “no barcode” bottle of this and – bingo! I can’t say better what other reviewers already wrote. Just believe them, and believe the (still quite limited) hype.
Maxim’s homme is an amazing hell of a keeper, a fantastic and sophisticated leather chypre which should sit if not next, then just a short step below some of the finest leather chypres of all times, from vintage Or Black to vintage Bel Ami or Moschino pour Homme. The structure is pretty traditional, and others have already analyzed it, so there’s no point in telling how it smells again in detail... it’s just an impeccable, rich, elegant and truly high-quality balsamic woody-leather scent with a really enjoyable whiff of smoky, and almost honeyed-candied floral notes, a bit like in Bel Ami – that kind of dark, austere and distinguished “manly” leather with a hint of balsamic-powdery smooth softness. At first it smells more about pine needless and dry woods, but once it warms a bit, the magic happens and Maxim’s unravels a truly delightful, crisp and brilliant harmony of leather, tobacco, “masculine” flowers, balsamic woods, a subtle musky base of mossy dirt.
I think the balance between the darker side with leather, tobacco and austere woods, and the balsamic-floral side with a really peculiar sort of dusty-sweet resinous texture and a nondescript, yet charming musty aftertaste, is truly remarkable and one of a kind. It’s simple, but so finely tuned it smells more unique than it may seem. Plus the quality is overall ridiculously good, there is an amazing feel of clarity and sultry depth which one would never imagine coming out from something so inexpensive and, say, visually cheap. Another obscure, totally good and totally neglected vintage cheapo which smells a bit similar to this came to my mind - Bally Masculin, but Maxim’s seems showing clearly a higher quality. This could have really easily been some Hermès, Givenchy or Guerlain. Same richness, same elegance halfway formal and effortless, same vibrancy and same uniqueness of most of their finest vintage offerings for men. I’ve read on the Internet that this was an early work by Jean Claude Ellena, and well, I can really believe that. Simply great.
Maxims pour Homme is one of those elusive, discontinued 1980s fragrances most often spoken of among connoisseurs in tones of awe and reverence. In other words, the kind of scent of which I’m instinctively suspicious. Maxims goes on in a cacophonous explosion that recalls the opening of the equally revered Havana: bergamot, aromatics, larger-than-life lavender, and clouds of tobacco smoke. It’s enough to make noses accustomed to Jean-Claude Ellena and Olivia Giacobetti scents recoil in horror.
Maxims takes its time getting sorted out, and remains harsh and disorganized long enough, I sure, to try some wearers’ patience. Once it settles down, Maxims reveals itself as a big, savory leather-tobacco scent with a distinctive smoky-salty accent. It’s still not worlds away from Havana in its overall structure, though its obviously more “savory,” more animalic, and more of an outright leather scent than the Aramis. Over the course of hours Maxims goes its own way, ending in a plush, smoky, animalic leather drydown of great dignity and distinction. I’m happy to report that my suspicions are allayed: Maxims pour Homme is a marvelous fragrance, and it’s a shame that it’s no longer made.
There's a mixture of the leather, woods, fruit, and musk that has a bit of funk to it in the opening. This lasts about 15 minutes and then the leather, patchouli, and woods take command. There's also a bit of sweetness which I think is the leftover fruit note. This is primarily a wood and leather fragrance so if that's something you like then don't hesitate to pick up a bottle.
Bergamot, lavender and jasmine command a beautiful classic opening blast, which is soon complimented by a floral not of carnation - beautifully old school. Cedarwood in the drydown leads to the darker phases, with patchouli and gentle moss aromas with barbershop characteristic dominating the base. There is a somber richness permeating this composition, like a veil of shadow over the autumn sun. Good silage and projection with over four hours of longevity. Very nice - 4.5/5