To look at his Santa Claus–white beard and burly lumberjack physique, you might not peg Pierre Faucher as a man who wears perfume. But the 67-year-old owner of a traditional Québécois sugar shack has an unmistakable scent. There are notes of caramel, warm spices and vanilla.
He is wearing Attire-Moi, the maple perfume born out of a serendipitous collaboration with Chantal Roux, the director of the famed French perfumery Galimard in Grasse. The scent aims to capture the essence of a maple forest, Faucher said, "I love the pepperiness, it has a tang to it. It's very strong like that when the syrup is coming out of the filter."
In September, 2011, Roux was over from France visiting her son in Montreal who was studying at McGill. She decided to rent a car to drive to Faucher's Sucrerie de la Montagne an hour away in Rigaud, Que., to see where maple syrup is made and to enjoy the fall colours. Syrup production was finished for the season, so Faucher gave Roux a tour of the property to see crusty loaves emerging from traditional wood ovens and the making of maple butter. He only found out who she was after an hour of talking and walking in the woods when she proposed the idea of making a maple perfume.
As it turns out, there is a lot of common ground between Canadian maple syrup production and French perfume making, Faucher said: "They are both ways of communicating traditions and culture."