Dior Accused of Cultural Appropriation For Native American-Inspired Fragrance With ‘Oriental Tones’

Dior has been caught in the midst of another cultural appropriation scandal for their use of Native American cultural imagery as well as their use of the term “oriental” to describe their fragrance “Sauvage.”

Their latest promotional video features actor Johnny Depp and dancer Canku Thomas One Star, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, who performs the Fancy War Dance.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Canku Thomas One Star (@c1star) on

The fragrance line, promoted by Depp, has been surrounded by several controversies in the past. Three years ago the company received backlash for working with Depp on another “Sauvage” campaign after he was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife Amber Heard.

The new fragrance, called “We are the Land” is described as “An authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory,” according to a tweet from the company.

The website has also described the product as “A new, highly concentrated interpretation of Sauvage, melding extreme freshness with warm oriental tones and wild beauty that comes to life on the skin.”

The use of the word “oriental,” as well as their use of Native American cultural imagery, did not sit well with Twitter users, with some describing the product as “Dior’s colonizer perfume.”

Writer and editor Jeff Yang also pointed out on Twitter that the word “Sauvage” is a French word that could be translated to “savage” or “heathen.”

Since the controversy, Dior has responded to CNBC with a press release from Americans for Indian Opportunity which reportedly stated that they have worked with Dior on the campaign to ensure an “authentic inclusion of Native American images in the film promoting Depp’s signature parfum.”

The release also noted that the nonprofit group had previously made Depp an honorary citizen of the Comanche Nation in 2012.

Dior’s latest case of cultural appropriation accusations have started trending on Twitter and in response, Dior appears to have deleted their most recent tweets and Instagram posts regarding their “Sauvage” campaign containing Native American cultural imagery.

Featured Image Screenshots via Twitter / @deppsvideos

Related Posts