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Cynthia Rowley Scents Latest Venture With Avon

With the first launch through her partnership with Avon, Cynthia Rowley is making sure there's something for everyone this Mother's Day with her Flower and...

With the first launch through her partnership with Avon, Cynthia Rowley is making sure there’s something for everyone this Mother’s Day with her Flower and Petal mother-daughter fragrances.

This story first appeared in the February 15, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“I always wanted to do a mother-and-daughter fragrance,” said Rowley.

Rowley’s first fragrance through licensing partner Riviera Concepts was discontinued after the company was bought by Elizabeth Arden less than two years ago.

Now Rowley is back, having successfully launched a new color cosmetics line with Avon last year. Flower and Petal incorporates the same floral inspiration of that line, associating it more closely with fragrance through its decorative packaging.

“We were inspired by Cynthia and wanted to incorporate all aspects of her life and embody who she is as a person, designer and mother,” said Tracy Haffner, vice president of global fragrance for Avon. “Since family life is very important to her, we wanted to create something that showed the bond between women as well as the link between beauty and femininity. The flower-and-petal story parallel that of a mother and daughter, since petals are a piece of the flower, like a child is to a mother.”

Peter Arnold, president of Cynthia Rowley, sees the launch of Flower and Pedal as an opportunity to build brand awareness for the fashion company in new markets abroad.

“We view this as a great point of entry into new markets since we are planning on opening more stores and having more presence in markets such as China, Japan and Eastern Europe,” said Arnold. “Since Avon has such a presence through its distributors in these countries, it’s an incredible opportunity to get into homes of customers and get our name out there in way we could never do on our own.”

As part of the launch strategy, Flower will first roll out in the European, Japanese and Australian markets next month for Women’s Day, followed by a summer launch for Petal in a total of 40 countries. In the U.S., Avon will launch both Flower and Petal in May for Mother’s Day. In addition to launching through Avon’s 650,000 sales representatives, both fragrances will be sold on a minisite, avon.com/cynthiarowley.

Flower and Petal are designed to symbolize the bond between women, especially between mothers and daughters. Flower was created with the mother in mind, while Petal is a lighter fragrance designed for younger girls.

“For the mother’s fragrance, I was looking for something nostalgic that reminded me of what my mother used to wear, yet still be something I loved,” said Rowley. “For the daughter scent, I wanted something more pure, fresh and innocent, but still very related to mothers, almost like a distilled version of Flower that had a fresh, youthful and feminine quality.”

Rowley even enlisted help from her eight-year-old daughter to pick the notes for Petal.

“She would tell me what she thought was too grown up and what smelled like grandma,” said Rowley. “For Flower, I wanted to incorporate freesia, something my mother always wore, but giving a more traditional fragrance a new spin.”

Both fragrances were created by Richard Herpin and Frank Völkl of Firmenich. Flower is a floral fragrance composed of musk and warm wood notes, including Casablanca lily, freesia, cashmere woods, vanilla, skin musk, velvet woods and sandalwood, while Petal is more of a floral green scent with notes like lily of the valley. Flower will retail at $39 for a 50-ml. bottle, while Petal will be sold for $15 for a 30-ml. bottle. Also launching in May, ancillary items including a body lotion and shower gel will be available for $15 each. As the gift of purchase, an umbrella by Cynthia Rowley with be given out with the purchase of Flower.

According to Haffner, Flower and Petal will mark the biggest Mother’s Day launch Avon has ever had globally.

“We’re taking the Mother’s Day time period to another level on a much greater scale than we had before,” said Haffner.

As part of the 360-degree campaign, Flower and Petal will be supported by print advertising. The new fragrance duo also will have front-cover placement in the Avon brochure along with two spreads with scented pages. About 32 million samples will be distributed through Avon brochures and 30,000 top fragrance sellers will receive LiquiTouch samples to distribute.