Saturday, January 18, 2014

Max Factor Perfumes

Max Factor, a theatre wig-master and make-up artist in Tsarist Russia; immigrated to USA, settled in California, and formed Max Factor & Co on January 2, 1909, moved to South Hill, LA in 1936 and to Hollywood in 1959.

In 1961, Max Factor & Co acquired Parfumerie Internationale and Corday of Paris and subsidiaries.

Purchased by Norman Simon Inc in 1972, acquired Mary Quant fashion house in 1980 and became part of Playtex Group in 1983, merged with Revlon Group in 1987 and was bought by Proctor & Gamble in 1991


Max Factor and his perfume expert, Dr. A. T. Frascati composed the perfumes at Max Factor's own labs. They used only the very best imported essences and raw materials. All of the perfumes were mixed and aged in the labs. He even whipped up private perfumes for screen stars, but did not manufacture them.

The perfumes of Max Factor:

  • 1925 Le Parfum Max
  • 1938 Cocoanut Grove
  • 1938 Trocadero
  • 1948 Sweet Pea
  • 1950 Signature
  • 1951 Golden Woods
  • 1953 Autograph
  • 1954 Electrique
  • 1954 Golden Lavender
  • 1956 Primitif
  • 1956 Hi-Fi (also known as Hi-Five in the United Kingdom) may have only been makeup
  • 1958 Hypnotique
  • 1960 Chester (?)
  • 1960 Rubis 
  • 1960 Diamont
  • 1960 Chontrelle
  • 1961 Promesse
  • 1961 Toujours Moi by Corday
  • 1961 Fame by Corday
  • 1961 Zigane by Corday
  • 1961 Possession by Corday
  • 1963 Jonquille
  • 1963 Exuberance
  • 1965 Royal Regiment
  • 1968 GTO for Men
  • 1969 Aquarius
  • 1970 Lemon Cologne
  • 1973 Miss Factor
  • 1974 Geminesse
  • 1975 Blase
  • 1975 Spice Musk
  • 1975 Stephen Burrows
  • 1976 Khara
  • 1976 Just Call Me Maxi
  • 1980 LA
  • 1980 Wood Grains Teakwood for men
  • 1980 Wood Grains Sandalwood for men
  • 1980 Wood Grains Greenwoods for men
  • 1981 Epris
  • 1982 Le Jardin de Max Factor
  • 1984 Magical Musk by Toujours Moi
  • 1986 Gentleman
  • 1986 Magic Beat Unwind by Michael Jackson
  • 1986 Magic Beat Heartbeat by Michael Jackson
  • 1986 Magic Beat Wildfire by Michael Jackson
  • 1986 Le Jardin d'Amour
  • 1988 Liaisons Charade
  • 1988 Liaisons Heartbeat
  • 1988 Liaisons Affair
  • 1988 Liaisons Intuition
  • 1988 Liaisons Desire
  • 1989 Jaclyn Smith's California
  • 1990 California for Men
  • 1991 Le Jardin Fleur de Rose


Royal Regiment: Max Factor released Royal Regiment Leather in 1965 and produced it until about 1976. They eventually produced five fragrances, Leather, Dry Lime, Sandalwood, Wild Briar, and Oakmoss. The original fragrance was a classic blend of woody under tones with a crisp and accents of subtle leather and spice.

It was presented in an amazing assortment of packaging. There seem to be different packaging in Europe than we had here in the States. The basic theme in America was military.

The products:

  • Five different statues of guardsmen
  • Drums
  • After shave in oval bottles decorated with faux medals
  • Cannon barrel spray colognes
  • Cologne splash in a cannon barrel that sat in a gun cradle, it had an ammunition box  for accessory storage.
  • Talc
  • Soap, including one on a rope
  • Soap in the shape of a life sized cannon ball, sliced into six or eight pieces it is housed inside a wooden crate. 


In the 1970s, Max Factor released their "Aromatic Body Potions" line which was comprised of several different perfumed body oils, which could be mixed to create personal scent blends. I have listed all of those that I could find, if I missed one, please let me know.


  • Vanilla Bean Perfume Oil
  • Passion Fruit perfume Oil
  • Meadow Musk Perfume Oil
  • Morning Rain Perfume Oil
  • Mountain Greenery Perfume Oil
  • Wild Strawberry Musk Oil
  • Wild Lemon Cologne Oil
  • Wild Musk Oil
  • Wild Musk Violet Oil
  • Rose Oil
  • Honeysuckle Oil
  • Jasmine Oil
  • Green Apples Oil



In an Aug 27, 1948 article in The Evening Independent, Max Factor talks about perfume.

Perfume is the final touch to good grooming which every woman should have. But she should be careful in choosing her perfume. It shoudl be soft, not too obvious, sweet; it should stay close to the body. It should not assail the nostrils but compliment her naturaly as though it were her own odor. Above all it should suit her personality", stated Max Factor.  
To clarify his message, he named ten actresses and his thoughts on the right kinds of perfumes they should wear.
  • Lana Turner - sexy, but not a siren, medium heavy odor, warm , floral , not too Oriental.
  • Hedy Lamar - a siren, warm, earthy, amber type perfume
  • June Allyson - extreme sexiness of smell should be avoided, light, delicae aromas.
  • Betty Grable - vivacious and spicy for a spicy gal.
  • Rosalind Russell - not too violent, subtle and warm floral smell, gardenia type.
  • Jane Powell - fresh and light, as a lilac bouquet
  • Ingrid Bergman - war, slightly floral
  • Greer Garson - soft, sweet, lily like
  • Bette Davis - exotic, woody, but not sweet or floral
  • Marjorie Main - warm, outdoorsy odor

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