Maxim's

France France
In 1893, Maxim's was first opened as a simple bistro "Chez Maxime's" by Maxime Gaillard, a waiter. It was already known at that time, but rather as a place of light ladies and... Read more
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Interesting Facts

In 1893, Maxim's was first opened as a simple bistro "Chez Maxime's" by Maxime Gaillard, a waiter. It was already known at that time, but rather as a place of light ladies and shady gentlemen. It was only through its next owner, Monsieur Cornuché, that it acquired its famous Art Nouveau interior and with it the charm that is still world famous today. Cornuché knew how to market, as a famous saying of his is: "An empty room.... Never! I always have beauty sitting by the window, overlooking the sidewalk!" Maxim's was a beautiful place and it also always attracted the rich and beautiful of this city.

By the 1930s, it was finally owned by the Vaudable family, who cleverly worked on the reputation of the establishment by inviting famous and influential citizens of Paris. Guests included Jean Cocteau and Marcel Proust, the Callas, Brigitte Bardot and Onassis. Of course, the international jet set soon dined and partied at the house as well. If celebrities were in town, they could be found at Maxim's in the evening. Under German occupation in the 1940s, it was run by Berlin landlord Horcher, and Albert Speer, Arno Breeker and Göring were among the regulars.

Fashion designer Pierre Cardin bought Maxim's in 1981 and lovingly renovated it, dedicating parts of the house to an Art Nouveau museum and gradually even opening branches in Monte Carlo, Brussels, Geneva, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, New York and Moscow.

Musical and cinematic tributes are numerous. The most famous is certainly the song "Da geh' ich zu Maxim" from Lehár's operetta "The Merry Widow".

Several legends, rumors and scandals have grown up around Maxim's. It is said that the Vietnamese communist Ho Chi Minh worked there as a waiter during his exile in Paris. It is also said that Brigitte Bardot entered the restaurant barefoot one evening. Why? Nobody knew...

Despite all these tales, the house has always been known for its charm and elegance and is still considered a cultural and culinary institution in Paris, preserved as "the place to go" through events and performances, but also club nights with celebrated DJs.

In addition to some souvenirs that can be bought directly on site or online, the first fragrance of the house was launched in 1984 under Pierre Cardin: "Maxim's de Paris pour Femme", which is still available today. "Maxim's pour Homme" followed in 1988 and another men's fragrance called "Orphée" was launched in 1998.
Research and text by ParfumoParfumo