Note: Please understand that this website is not affiliated with the Max Factor company in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the Max Factor fragrances.

The goal of this website is to show the present owners of the max Factor company how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back your favorite perfume!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the perfume, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories), who knows, perhaps someone from the company might see it.


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

From Max Factor's website:

"In Hollywood's Golden Age, when it came to make-up only one name was on the lips of the silver screen stars. That name was Mr Max Factor, a visionary make-up artist, wig maker and inventor, Max Factor was known for creating the signature looks of the era’s most famous icons such as Ava Gardner, Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich. But he believed that glamour should be within reach of all women. 
Max Factor was born in Russia and emigrated in 1914 to America, settling in LA to be closer to the budding film industry. Word of Max Factor’s expertise quickly spread and he was soon working with Hollywood’s leading film stars and making his own cosmetic products for a glamorous but realistic look on screen. In 1916 he started selling eye shadow and eyebrow pencils. This was the first time such products were available outside the movie industry. Four years later he launched a full range of cosmetics, calling it “make-up” – a phrase he coined. 
The make-up products and techniques Max Factor created for the movie industry and his Hollywood clients earned him an Oscar, but his guiding philosophy was that any woman could be glamourous given the right tools and make-up artistry skills. From mascara to foundation, eye shadow to lip gloss – Max Factor put the transformative tools for make-up artistry into the hands of every woman, enabling her to create her own personal glamour statement every day."

1872 -  Max Factor, of Jewish descent, is born Maksymilian Faktorowicz in Lodz, Russia (now part of Poland) on 5th August. As a child, he worked  as an apprentice with a dentist and pharmacist. He spent long hours mixing a variety of potions and became fascinated with the human face. Later, as a young man in Moscow, Russia, he begins his journey to define glamour through the decades as he established his first shop in Razan, Russia where he sold perfumes, skin cremes and wigs. A theater group wore some of his makeup while performing before Russian aristocrats, which led to his being employed by the Royal Family as its makeup consultant. He was also engaged by Russia’s national opera.

1904 - Max, his wife Lisa and their three children left Europe and emigrated to America, arriving with less than four hundred dollars to their name. Upon arrival in the US,  the spelling of his name was Americanized into “Max Factor” during his immigration proceedings. That same year, he worked at the St. Louis World’s Fair selling skin cremes and perfumes and then moved on to the theater district in Los Angeles four years later, where Max opened the Max Factor beauty salon, thinking he might have the opportunity to work in the newly emerging movie industry in Hollywood.

1914 - When Max Factor sees a motion picture for the first time, he declares the heavy stage greasepaint to be "terrifying!” As a solution, he creates the first make-up for film, Flexible Greasepaint, one that would not crack and to make actors appear more human.

1917 - Supreme Liquid Whitener, which provided the means of obtaining an alabaster smoothness on the neck, shoulder, arms and hands.

1918 - Max Factor introduces the Colour Harmony principle of make-up. A term still used today, make-up shades were coordinated to complement a women’s natural complexion, eye, and hair colouring.

1920 - Max Factor invents the word make-up and introduces Society Make-up to the general public; enabling women to emulate the looks of their favourite movie stars.

1925 - Max Factor's Supreme Nail Polish, a metal pot of beige-colored powder that was sprinkled on the nails and buffed with a chamois buffer, to give nails shine and some tint.

1927 -  Society Nail Tint, a small porcelain pot containing rose colored cream. Applied to the nail and buffed, it gave a natural rose color. "Society Nail White" was also released. This was a tube of chalky white liquid that was applied under nail tips and left to dry. The end result resembled the modern French manicure.

April 1928 - Lip Pomade, later called lip gloss, is created by Max Factor to provide a glamorous, glossy appearance to movie actresses' lips on film.

June 1928 - Jean Harlow becomes a "platinum blonde", kick starting a coiffure craze. To help solve the Color Harmony problems created by Jean’s light hair colour, Max Factor develops several new make-up shades specifically for use in black-and-white films. Max Sr. was awarded an Oscar award for this innovation.

1932 - Max Factor builds a Beauty Calibrator to measure the dimensions of a person's facial structure to within 1/100th of an inch. This helps him determine how to use shading to create "the perfect face". He claims he never found perfection!

1932 - Developed a line of "Television Make-up," specifically to meet the needs of television.

1934 - Released Liquid Nail Enamel, forerunner of today's nail polishes.

1935 - Opened the unique Max Factor Make-up Salon in Los Angeles.

1935 - Pan-Cake Make-up is developed to meet the unique make-up requirements of Technicolor film, as without corrective make-up to provide a natural complexion; actors' faces appeared brick red or blue. When actresses started taking large quantities of Pan-Cake home with them for their personal use, Max Factor realized that his new make-up looked wonderful both on and off camera, so later introduced Pan-Cake to the general retail trade.

1938 - Max Factor dies at the age of 66. The family decides his name should live on so his son, Francis takes on the name Max Factor, Jr. He had his father's gift as a creative make-up artist so this is a natural step and expanded the family-run business internationally.

1940 - Tru-Color lipstick is developed by Max Factor, Jr. The lipstick offered a high degree of indelibility, and maintained its true color without irritating the skin. This is tested by the Kissing Machine, which replaces human kissers, and applied pressure to artificially kissing lips covered with lipstick, to measure how much pressure and kissing the lipstick could withstand and still remain on the lips.

1947- Pan-Stik make-up was introduced by Max Factor after years of testing in the Hollywood laboratories. Tests included covering models' legs with Pan-Stik and siting them in the sun to observe how the color changed. Pan-Stik was a cream-based make-up in stick form that was designed to be applied "as easily as lipstick", in less than 20 seconds

1953 - Creme Puff Make-up is introduced, the first all-in-one blend of creamy make-up base and powder. Applied with a puff, Creme Puff was applied like powder, but stayed on like cream, and had a smoother look than either.

1954 - Erace was introduced to the general public. Originally intended to hide blemishes, lines and shadows from the camera, Erace was the first concealer offered to the retail trade.

1955 - Hi-Fi fluid make-up was introduced to the retail trade as a result of research the Max Factor Company had done for color television. Designed to do for color what high-fidelity technology did for sound, the Hi-Fi range featured bright colors for cheeks, lips and eyes and was created for a ‘glowing’ look. This line remained the standard for TV cosmetics until the arrival of HDTV.

1958 - Max Factor unveils the Mascara Wand, the first mascara to be applied with a wand from a tube, rather than a picking up the color from a cake with a brush.

1971 -  Released the first "waterproof" make-up.

1980 - Japanese subsidiary acquired an antioxidant derived from sake wine, called Pitera. Subsequently launched Max Factor Success Key with Pitera, which would later be renamed SK-II.

1984 - Max Factor Museum opens in former Max Factor Hollywood Make-up Studio at 1666 N. Highland Ave.

1988 -  Launched the world's first clear colorless mascara.

1991 - Max Factor becomes part of the Procter & Gamble family.

2001 - Launching another first; Max Factor introduces 12 hour long-lasting non-transfer lip color, "Lipfinity". Between 2006 and 2008, one is sold every 9 seconds globally; becoming another iconic innovation.

2004 - One of the world’s most influential makeup artists, Pat McGrath is signed as Max Factor Global Creative Design Director.

2009 - Max Factor launches what is to become its bestselling mascara, False Lash Effect mascara.

2010 - Max Factor launches Colour Effect Boutique. From nail polish to eye shadows, this is an exciting new exploration into bright colour cosmetics.

2012 - Max Factor introduces Glossfinity: Max Factor’s latest nail collection offering a glossy long-wear nail finish. The vibrant palette consists of 26 signature shades: from the cool and sophisticated tones to the more dramatic and bright.

2012 - Max Factor launches its ultimate glamour tool, Colour Effect Flipstick; an innovative, double-ended lipstick that allows women to become their very own lip artist by mixing, matching and personalizing their own lip colour.

Max Factor Perfumes:

From 1933- 1936, Max Factor and his perfume expert, Dr. Anthony T. Frascati composed the perfumes at Max Factor's own labs.

Frascati (b. July 7, 1892 in Italy, d. 1980) composed the perfumes for Perfumery St Denis in 1922-1925 and again as the chemist in charge of production and perfumery in 1926-1929.  Frascati had also compounded perfumes for other companies such as Tokalon (1922-1925), head of the perfumery department for Ungerer & Co (1929-1932), and Givaudan-Delawanna (1925-1926) before joining Max Factor in 1933. Max Factor used only the very best imported essences and raw materials. All of the perfumes were mixed and aged in the labs.

Frascati worked in the Max Factor labs as perfumer and research chemist until 1936, when he was appointed head of the perfume laboratory (technical director) for Firmenich in New York City until 1948. He even whipped up private perfumes for screen stars, but did not manufacture them.

While at Max Factor, a 1936 article in Popular Mechanics noted that Frascati made up perfumes made from California fruit extracts" said to rival the flower extracts." He used a "secret process and secret formula" extracted from the juices of certain fruits at the "laboratories of Hollywood cosmetics company Max Factor", and predicted that the "most beautiful perfumes of the future will come from fruit extracts". It also stated that the "same laboratories prepare individual scents for motion-picture players."

He even whipped up private perfumes for screen stars, but did not manufacture them. Frascati supervised the organization of the new Factor plant in London, England. Perfume chemist Frank Atkins was in charge of compounding the perfumes at the London plants. In 1936, Frascati left Max Factor and was appointed head of the perfume laboratory for Firmenich in New York City. He
was instrumental in resolution of the first murder case in U.S. history to be solved on the basis of perfume evidence, the perfume in question was Bourjois' Evening in Paris.

In 1961, Max Factor & Co acquired Parfumerie Internationale and Corday of Paris and subsidiaries. Soon the famous Toujours Moi would be branded under the Max Factor name.

1 comment:

  1. What a fascinating read! Back in my teens, I was given a bottle of the Aromatic Body Potion - green apple oil. It lasted 'forever and ever'. Then I 'graduated to floral essence but I always go back to fruity essence. Now I've been trying to look for the same essence of green apple but it just doesn't match the way that Max Factor did. Alas, I have been searching for it ever since to no avail!