By  on June 4, 2010

Avon Products Inc. has added another designer to its expanding high-fashion fragrance wardrobe, forming a tight-knit partnership with Hervé Léger.

The design house, owned by BCBG Max Azria Group Inc., is known for its iconic and impossibly tight bandage dresses, which sell for roughly between $850 and $3,900.

This fall, Avon will introduce a women’s and a men’s fragrance, namely Hervé Léger Femme and Hervé Léger Homme, both designed to nod to the sensuality of the brand.

Avon approached the fashion house about a potential partnership in late 2008.

“We felt their team understood and respected the heritage of the brand and would be able to translate this into a dynamic fragrance for both women and men,” said Max Azria, chief designer for Hervé Léger, who has put a modern spin on the curve-contouring designs in recent years. “The bottles were designed to capture the iconic shape of the quintessential Hervé Léger dress, echoing the ‘bandage’ effect that makes the designs so distinctive.”

The partnership advances Avon’s designer fragrance strategy, which began in 2007 with Christian Lacroix, and now includes Emanuel Ungaro and Cynthia Rowley.

Hervé Léger marks Avon’s fourth global designer fragrance launch, and the scents are expected to play particularly well in Eastern and Western Europe and Latin America, where consumers have a fondness for European designers, said Tracy Haffner, vice president, global fragrance marketing and strategic alliances for Avon.

Designer alliances also are meant to elevate Avon’s style authority.

“[They] allow Avon to bring access to great style and fashion to women all over the world,” said Lily DeStefano, Avon’s executive director, North America Beauty.

Designer collaborations have moved Avon deeper into the premium price tier; the 1.7-oz. Hervé Léger Femme eau de parfum is priced at $34, and the 2.5-oz. Hervé Léger Homme at $30. The designer strategy helped grow Avon fragrance sales by 8 percent last year.

The women’s scent is described as a “woody floral scent” with top notes of sparkling Chinese magnolia flower, Sicilian pink grapefruit; a heart of Moroccan orange flower with honeywood, and a drydown of warm benzoin tears, cypress wood and vanilla.

The men’s scent is described as a “spicy woody fragrance” with top notes of crisp Indian ginger, Japanese yuzu; a heart of smoldering woody notes, with an ambery finish.

Although Hervé Léger does not have a men’s line, Avon has had success launching designer scents for both sexes, as women can sample and purchase both at the same time, said Haffner.

Avon shot the television and print campaign in Paris at Place Vendôme.

The Hervé Léger duo will anchor a robust year for Avon, that includes Eternal Magic, fronted by actress Zoe Saldana, and an upcoming launch of Outspoken by Fergie. Haffner said, “Hervé Léger completes the strongest year — from an innovation standpoint — for Avon fragrances.”

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