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Perfume distributor apologises for offensive bottle design

The Universal Society of Hinduism has called for a recall on the product, saying the bottle is offensive.

FILE: A limited edition of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male Classique is being sold in clothing stores across the country. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The distributor for international fashion brand Jean Paul Gaultier has released a statement apologising to the local Hindu community for its new perfume bottle.

The design includes an imprint of the Hindu deities on a body-shaped bottle.

A limited edition of the Le Male Classique is being sold in clothing stores across the country.

The Universal Society of Hinduism has called for a recall on the product and says it's offensive.

"Hindu deities shown on the bottles - Krishna, Lakshmi, Muruga and Radha - were highly revered in Hinduism and are meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda is not okay as it hurts the devotees."

Local distributor, The Prestige Cosmetics, says the idea behind the design was to pay homage to India, with no intention of being blasphemous.

"The idea was to transport the customer to a dreamful India."

The company says it's communicated the matter to the product manufacturers.

"We wish to convey our sincerest apologies for any offence or shock caused by the Jean Paul Gaultier summer perfumes. It was absolutely not the will of the manufacturer Beauté Prestige International, as Mr Gaultier has always supported values of tolerance, difference and respect."