Perfume Directory

Maxim's pour Homme (1988)
by Maxim's


Maxim's pour Homme information

Year of Launch1988
Average Rating
(based on 100 votes)

People and companies

PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanySelecta
Parent Company at launchAmerican Cyanamid > Shulton > Pierre Cardin

About Maxim's pour Homme

Maxim's pour Homme is a masculine fragrance by Maxim's. The scent was launched in 1988 and the bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand

Maxim's pour Homme fragrance notes

Reviews of Maxim's pour Homme

I finally got around to trying this via a shipping accident and am glad I did. Maxim's is like the version of Hammam Bouquet that it's currently acceptable for a man to wear because, while quite floral and woody, it boldly and comfortably exudes a bit of 'lower body stink.' The civet Really makes this formulation pop for me in a Jules kind of way, in that it's a little gross or upsetting but all the more intriguing for it. The opening volley makes it out to be a powerhouse but it remembers its manners after a few minutes.
10th January, 2021
A scent from yesteryear, with an aromatic-fruity opening leading to warm woods, leather, embellished with carnation and jasmine. It is well executed, but there is a surprising and somewhat bizarre honeyed sweetness that develops from the mid phase. I find this note to be rather jarring, and at odds with the rest of the composition. I do not enjoy it, and unfortunately, as it persists till the dry down, I end up not liking the scent.

Sillage and longevity are appreciable based on a moderate application. It isn't a very aggressive scent, is more approachable and worth trying if you fancy a conventional but well done masculine with a fruity-sweet twist.

20th May, 2018
Maxim's Pour Homme comes from quite the unexpected place: The most famous French restaurant in the world. Whether or not you ever plan to go, or even care about such things, the initial pair of fragrances spawned by a joint venture between Maxim's and American Cyanamid (onetime parent of Shulton and Pierre Cardin fragrances) are both quite remarkable. The feminine has seemed to survive, while the much less popular male counterpart sadly has passed into obscurity, but it's of a quality surprising to the nose, considering it's corporate parentage. The 1980's was a time for corporate exploration of fragrance branding, and everyone from Hollywood celebrities to auto makers were making deals with perfumers, with most of the results quite forgettable as expected. Maxim's seems to go against this grain, and commissioned prodigious perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena (most known for his work with Bvlgari, Hermès and later niche houses) to create something befitting of the time period in which the restaurant originates. Indeed Maxim's Pour Homme evokes images of the Art Nouveau style and La Belle Époque in France, with it's finely decorated bottle and smooth leathery finish. Granted, this is still a mostly modern fragrance (late 70's/early 80's definition of modern anyway) and doesn't have the raw bite of some older, less compromising leather scents, but in the greater scheme of things, one could almost not be told this is a leather fragrance and believe it, since there is so much else going on in the well-blended base. If there is any reason this wasn't more popular, it's probably because it was named after a restaurant, which is something I don't really see resonating with the general public as a place of inspiration for fragrance. Quite sad really, as this little floral mossy chypre is very nice, just born at the wrong place and wrong time, by the wrong parents.

Maxim's opens with a typical bergamot and lavender top dusted with civet, found in powerhouses from this period, but with a rather awkward fruit note disturbing the classic introduction, even if it doesn't really ruin things. It's just a few minutes if even that before what I can discern as fig or tamarind fades from view and lets the bergamot, civet and lavender do it's work into the floral heart. Most folks haven't seen such a floral heart outside of maybe the popular Zino Davidoff (1986), unless they were into a number of obscure mid to late 80's powerhouses built on florals before the coming of the aquatic/fresh fougère revolution, so Maxim's makes another rare use of the "male floral bouquet" trope that hadn't been cool since the last time men wore pocket watches, sitting alongside peers like Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987), Balenciaga Hang Club (1987) and Pour Homme (1990), Paco Rabanne Ténéré (1988), and Tristano by Tristano Onofre (1989). Muguet, jasmine, and carnation are greeted in the middle by some fairly austere woods that add dryness, and a slight honeyed tobacco note, but things don't really stay "dandy" for long as the rich base takes over once the heat of skin reacts to the wear. Amber, musk, pathcouli, oakmoss -almost a litany of barbershop classics- seem to litter the beautifully warm base, with leather only making an appearance at the very end, almost like an encore rather than a part of the main performance. Would I still call this a leather scent? Well yes. Avon Black Suede (1980), in all of it's makeup compact creaminess, is still called a leather scent because suede is the main note of it. Therefore, why not a rich floral chypre that contains leather but flirts with the avant-garde be considered one? This was modeled after one of the most classically artistic periods in history, so it's only appropriate for it to be complex. I find Maxim's Pour Homme to a bit more out of step than most of it's floral brethren with the late 80's, as most of the really high-quality aromatic powerhouses had come out by then, and established stiff bergamot and deep moss as the example to follow. The closest thing I can compare it to is Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme from 1978, but retrofitted with animalics and floral, but that's still not quite doing it justice, as that scent has a great deal more going on for it in the herbal department than this, which is really devoid of herbs outside the patchouli in the base.

Most things made for men by designers at the end of the decade were either really sharp and virile like Lapidus Pour Homme (1987) or heading into oriental territory like Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrée (1989), plus we were just on the cusp of 90's olfactory beige, with all the experimentalism with bland aromachemicals and citrus that brought, so this sadly wasn't really presaging anything to come. In the end, it was just a fragrance made on it's own terms, regardless of the times, and perhaps that's what both makes it special, and doomed to obscurity (outside the branding). Ironically, had something like this come forward now, it would be considered niche, and easily have another zero on the price tag, but because it was rich floral leather chypre in 1988 instead of 1888 or 2018, branded after a French restaurant and formulated/sold by a major player at the time, it was relegated to the shopping mall discount perfume kiosks before it ever really had a chance to shine. I wouldn't quite call Maxim's a powerhouse either. It is a pretty aromatic and rich masculine, but it isn't loudness for the sake of it, and will actually give the average 6-8 hours wear time with moderate sillage. It's mossy plonk will definitely make it seem mighty in modern company, but compared to it's competition it's rather mild-mannered outside of the brief funky opening. Fans of mossy leather scents will love it, but modern tastes raised on candy gourmands or synthetic minimalism will still find it too staunch, so it's definitely for the mature man or fan of the style. Maxim's is a good fall and spring office scent, maybe for romance use too if at a classier joint, but definitely no club hopper. Maxim's Pour Homme is like an evening in a 19th century Paris bistro, televised from a 1980's Sony Trinitron TV. Definitely an obscure gem worth trying.
14th March, 2018 (last edited: 29th October, 2019)
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 normally hate to bash on reformulations but I feel I must here. That's the only explanation for my bottle's lack of longevity and thinness.
Smell's good for the 30 minutes it lasts. The scent from my bottle isn't deep and dark like others have posted. To be honest, I get a vibe similar to a less fresh Coolwater. I also get more florals than many other notes. Guess I will need to hunt down vintage juice in order to experience what most reviewers enjoy about this fragrance.
Scent: 7/10
Longevity: 1/10
Projection: good for 30 minutes and then nothing
25th February, 2016

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