Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Maxim's pour Homme by Maxims

Total Reviews: 20
Maxim's (I have the original formula) is a paradox. It's clearly a modern fougere with oriental elements, but it somehow conjures up an earlier more genteel time. The Art Nouveau packaging enhances this aura of La Belle Epoch, and the scent brings to mind images of Paris around the turn of the twentieth century. I can imagine sitting in a Parisian cafe seeing posters by Alfons Mucha and Toulouse-Lautrec ... hearing music by Debussy, Faure and Ravel ... watching the passers-by in their finery.

Elegant, complex, smooth and refined are all words I'd use to describe the scent of Maxim's, and it's one I still wear regularly.
23rd May, 2016
There is very little to add in addition to some of the reviews written. This is nostalgic juice from a bygone era and is absolutely wonderful!

Upon testing this fragrance, one scent instantly came to mind. Though the two scents are in fact different, I feel that they have a similar feel... Ho Hang Club by Balenciaga bears some resemblance, but the carnation note in the Balenciaga fragrance is much more pronounced throughout the scent's development.

I'm a vintage fan, and this one absolutely hits the spot. Not for everyday use, but if paired with your finest duds, it's a wonderful scent that exudes class and craftsmanship.

8+/10 in my book and worth seeking out.
23rd May, 2016
I am fortunate to have had a bottle of the vintage fragrance and try to wear every so often over the past two years. I remember falling in love with this when I first tried it, but something has happened…it now hardly lasts 2 hours! And if you’re familiar with the stinky opening of this one, the good stuff (REALLY good stuff), takes a while to get to, and sadly I only get to experience what this gem has to offer for a short time. Classic structure with modern luxury! Thumbs up!
03rd January, 2016
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Maillard got me on to this.
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!!
28th December, 2015 (last edited: 08th January, 2017)
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.

16th October, 2015
Genre: Leather

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.
19th June, 2014
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.
06th December, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
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
11th November, 2013
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Maxim's pour Homme opens with a lavender and carnation floral duo with an underlying relatively sweet mélange of citrus fruit. The florals remain into the heart of the scent, as a smooth clove spiced leather accord joins the florals with an initially mild cedar and sandalwood backbone revealing itself as does a moderate amount of clean musk from the base. During the dry-down the florals finally recede and the now starring leather dries and sheds the scent's remaining sweetness without losing its smoothness, now coupling with dirty patchouli, the remnants of the cedar and slightly powdery oakmoss to finish off the scent's development. Projection is average and longevity is excellent.

Maxim's pour Homme is really quite captivating. It really is a leather scent with a cedar spine when all is said and done, but the initial florals and clove spice play key roles in setting up the slowly growing smooth leather and cedar wood accord as the scent progresses. Maxim's pour Homme is plenty strong, but it's never overpowering and quite easy to wear. While Maxim's does not smell altogether different during its dry-down than many of its top-notch contemporaries, it certainly succeeds in its execution and is very well made. If you like powerhouse scents like Giorgio VIP for Men but want less bite and projection Maxim's may be just what you are looking for. As for me, I love the stuff and award it a very strong 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5.
08th January, 2013
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
A slightly floral, slightly powdery, somewhat sweet blend (with a hint of spice) that dances around a pile of wood. That's mostly what I get (leaving aside top notes, which I try to avoid). I'm not getting any appreciable leather, patchouli, or oakmoss. Those who seek the kind of sandalwood note you get in a lot of "men's" fragrances from the 1970s and 80s might like this one, but I'm not a huge fan of it. If I didn't have others like it, I'd go ahead and try to grab a bottle cheaply. However, since I do, I will just keep my mini bottle of this one and be content. Longevity is very good and projection/"sillage" is just right. I'll rate it positive because I think it will satisfy those who seek this kind of fragrance.

I'm wondering if there was more than one formulation, because unlike some of the other reviews, I don't understand how this can be compared to Grey Flannel or Havana (there's not even a hint of tobacco). Nor is there an animalic element, leathery or otherwise. Vintage Woodhue Cologne for Men has a similar woody drydown, but I like its first couple hours better. I found a list of notes for it over at, which is not identical to the one above: "...bergamot, lavender, lemon, clary sage and carnation. The heart features jasmine, rose, cedar, sandalwood, clove, and amber, while the base consists of oak moss, patchouli, cedar, vanilla, musk and leather."
04th July, 2011
Maxims is a compelling woody fougere, with three very distinct phases.

A largely superfluous opening is excessively sweet, but mercifully brief. Beyond the forgettable top notes, it changes direction quite radically, becoming darker, arid and powdery. This deeply aromatic and woody phase only begins to soften with the emergence of the very rich moss in the base. It is lightly underscored by a very subtle sweetness, ensuring that the latter stages are as impressive as the heart notes.

Overall, and despite the flawed opening, this is a delightful fragrance. It is very obvious just why it has so many devotees
18th September, 2010
Maxims Pour homme: have you ever heard an SA say "this scent has a BURST of fresh notes"..all the time eh..but never convinced with what you sniffed..? ok, now smell this :) Powdery sweet accords of intense green notes with an equally intense accord of "fresh" florals, which by the way is not really able to shake that color green out of my head...all with a cool breeze sandalwood..the powderiness, needless to repeat, stays throughout the entire progression of this aspect, which really grabbed my attention was this persistent accord of steel to this whole smelling this accord thru a sterilized, perforated tube of space age steel tube... this feel gives this scent a somewhat unique, fresh in a very shiny, sophisticated kinda feel. The basenotes is lush, mossy, powdery with hints of patchouli and mostly mossy with hints of leather.
13th August, 2009 (last edited: 18th August, 2009)
Maxim's pour Homme

When it comes to discontinued colognes there seem to be cults that spring up, the Patouists, the Montanaites, and the Maximistas. There is always the curiousity about whether it is just misplaced emotion or is the juice really that good. Maxim's pour Homme seems to be the victim of a grand plan gone bust. Dimitri in his Sorcery of Scent blog relates that Maxim's was created by Pierre Cardin in 1988 after acquiring the French restaurant Maxim's with dreams of taking it worldwide. The fact that there is no Maxim's in your local area should indicate the success of this venture. What I find interesting is the thought that a scent would be the first step to creating a brand. Nevertheless that was the path taken in 1988 and Maxim's pour Homme was created. The top of this is a solid lavender which leads striaght to a heart of jasmine and spicy carnation. According to the notes bergamot and a "fruit note" are supposed to be present but right from the beginning I get a strong floral character. It takes a while but the sandalwood and cedar appear and move this into a different stage as they eventually push the floral notes to the background. The base is a delicately balanced patchouli and musk on me which is really nice. I like that this scent has three distinct stages from floral to woody to musky. It doesn't feel like the longevity is going to be very good as two hours in I'm already feeling it is starting to fade away. This is a good scent and if you see a bottle floating around your local flea market or at a discounter I'd say go for it. If this ever becomes one of those scents that commands a premium because it is discontinued that's when I'd say buyer beware. For me, I don't think I'm joining the ranks of the Maximistas just yet but over time they may get me yet.
28th February, 2009
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Maxim's PH reminds me a lot of the experience I get when I wear Patou PH. Not as spicy, but many similarities. It is absolutely lovely. I don't really smell the 80's in this one at all. It smells extremely classic, elegant and French. From the lavender/citrus opening through the masculine florals into the delicious woods and resins in its base, this is a real winner. Maxim's is one of my very favorite masculine scents.
19th August, 2008
A bold, chypre masculine. Nice mix of lavender and carnation and a dominant oakmoss and musk base with a typical leather note thrown in. I usually dislike these chypres but this is pretty good.
12th August, 2008
A big thumbs up to this masterpeice !
It was love at first sniff .
I disagree completely with TV's absurd comparison to it being a combo of F Smalto & Montana ,, this is nothing of the sort .
Incredible opening & rich throughout the drydown , with a musk that just really must be worn to be appreciated
***** This is in my top five *****
24th June, 2008
Think Francesco Smalto pour Homme married to Montana Parfum d'Homme and you pretty much have all the olfactory info you need to peg this one.

Sadly, discontinued.
14th May, 2008
One of my top 5 favorites. It very much reminds me of the men in my life (my father and grandfather) Maxims pH opens a little loudly and with a touch of sweetness, but quickly tones down into what is the most pleasent scents I know. Because it reminds me of my grandfather, it is comforting, warm, safe and secure. Buy it while you still can, if you don't like it...I'll buy it from you.
14th April, 2007
Both previous reviewer's make good points. Maxim's, produced by Pierre Cardin, is unquestionably a typical supercharged 80s fagrance. It is, however, one of the best of its kind and unjustly forgotten. It does begin with an overwhelmingly heady confusion of bergamot, clary sage, lavender nto which the rich middle notes of jasmine, carnation and cedar already interfere, enfolding its wearer in an almost headache-inducing cloud of sweet-spicyness. But once the dust settles, there remains a beautifully crafted composition perfectly blending floral, wood and spice, shifting accents beautifully through the drydown into the ambery base. This deserves to be up there with the dearly sought Havanna and every lover of complex scents should seek it ought.
19th October, 2006
This one is lovely, starts off strong, but then calms down to a wonderfull musky woody smell. Very warm like I would assume a mature gentelman to wear
17th August, 2005