Home fragrance — a category that boomed during the pandemic — has gained another entrant.
Van Dang Fragrances, a line of oils, diffusers, room sprays and candles, launches at Bergdorf Goodman this month. Prices range from $42 for individual oils to $475 for a meditation gift set.
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The brand is the brainchild of Kim-Van Dang, who has worked in various sectors of the beauty industry throughout her career, and her business partner and husband, Anthony Roberts.
Dang, who held various beauty editing roles before starting her own branding agency and eventually a boutique, can now add brand founder to her résumé. “I’ve completed the circle — I’ve done everything one can do in beauty,” she said.
It was Dang’s 360-degree view of the industry that led her to create a brand, although she said it’s more about passion than filling white space.
“We love artisanal fragrance,” Dang said. “It’s been many years of us feeding our passion by wearing all these different hats. It was only natural that we finally launched our own brand because, even from a design aspect, we felt we had something to say, and we want to express ourselves in terms of design and olfaction. That was really the driver, not what the white space was.'”
The brand’s assortment ranges across formats in six signature scents, which are available in room sprays, candles, diffusers and essential oils. Dang also created sets of oils with different crystals, which she calls meditation sets, each with its own purported emotional and spiritual benefits.
Among Dang’s priorities was supply chain transparency. “We’re working with a specific team from IFF,” she said. “It’s a team that works to create a direct, transparent supply chain with farmers, so that there’s no middle men. We can guarantee our products use no pesticides, everything is fair trade and sustainably sourced. That’s important to Anthony [Roberts] and me — because it’s about the people.”
The project began three years ago, and Dang expects the brand’s calming message to resonate more strongly than ever in a post-pandemic world.
“We started this project three years ago and no one in the world could foresee that we were going into a pandemic. Somehow, what the world’s been through and what we were striving to create dovetails,” she said.
Dang used her shop in Sag Harbor, New York, Havens by KVD, as a venue for testing consumer attitudes on the line.
“I had put a sample set out just to see how people reacted to it. All these little kids would talk to me about the crystals — they knew so much and were so excited. It was something I didn’t plan for,” she said.
To that end, Dang isn’t taking aim at any specific cohorts of customers. “I get this question all the time, whether something is for men or women. First of all, we don’t believe in assigning gender to an inanimate object. I think fragrance is for everyone, and if you love it, it’s for you.”
She didn’t comment on sales, although industry sources expect the brand to reach $1.2 million in retail sales in its first year on the market as it looks to expand internationally.
Dang is a former WWD staffer.
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