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Avon Signs NASCAR’s Carl Edwards for Scent

Carl Edwards will be the face of Avon's December catalog.

Carl Edwards and Turn 4XT.

Avon Products Inc. has once again set its sights on the checkered flag, this time coming around the final turn with NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, who is fronting a new signature fragrance called Turn 4XT, due at the end of November.

This story first appeared in the October 15, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Edwards is at least the second NASCAR driver the direct-selling giant has signed; in 2004, the firm inked a deal for Kasey Kahne to be the spokesman for Avon’s Pro Sport Daily Performance men’s fragrance and grooming line. Sports is not new for Avon. The firm signed New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter for the popular scent, Driven, in 2006 and Tennis’ Williams sisters appeared in ads for Avon after a 2000 signing.

“Turn four is the last, crucial turn, right before the straightaway,” said Lily DeStefano, vice president of North America Beauty for Avon. “The idea of [Turn 4XT] is wrapped around that singular moment — when you go for the win.”

Edwards will be the face of Avon’s December catalog. “He will be very visible and present in marketing visuals. He’s a racing icon that people recognize. It’s huge in terms of opportunity for us in men’s fragrance.”

Edwards said his mother used to sell Avon products.

“I’ve known Avon and I’ve respected their place in the business world since I was a child,” the driver of the number 99 Ford said.

After Sunday’s Pepsi Max 400 race at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana Calif., Edwards stands in seventh place in the Sprint Cup Series. Engine failure put him in the pits, but he got back into the race and finished 34th.

Industry sources estimate that Turn 4XT, an Oriental woody fresh eau de toilette, which is priced at $26 for 2.5 oz., could generate sales of $10 million during its first year on the market.

Robertet composed the scent, which has notes of basil and cilantro; ginger, vetiver and lavender, and amber and cashmere woods and sandalwood.

“I was wearing my driver’s suit getting ready for a practice run,” Edwards noted, and “I’d sprayed a little on, hugged my wife; she said, ‘What was that?’ And I said, ‘We have a winner here.’”

Next up for Edwards and Avon? The 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday evening for the Bank of America 500. DeStefano noted that Avon will have a “strong” presence at the race, unveiling and sampling Turn 4XT.