Chanel's S$1,150 advent calendar draws flak for including 'junk' like stickers, magnets & travel-sized samples

"We are sorry that this calendar may have disappointed some people," Chanel later said in a statement.

Ashley Tan | December 08, 2021, 06:18 PM

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Advent calendars are all the rage now.

For the uninitiated, advent calendars are usually sold during the Christmas season, and typically take the form of a large package with a "cubby hole" labeled for every day of the month of December.

Each "cubby hole" contains an item, which can range from food to small gifts, to games, and is meant to be opened systematically once a day. It serves as a nice little surprise and something for one to look forward to everyday.

Famous brands like Sephora and Funko have taken to selling their own advent calendars, and often not for cheap.

Not-so-cheap advent calendar

This year, luxury brand Chanel announced their first ever advent calendar, promising one that is "unlike any other".

It certainly was, and not in a good way.

The advent calendar costs a hefty amount — S$1,150. In the U.S., it apparently retails at US$825.

According to Chanel's website, it was released to mark the 100th anniversary of Chanel's iconic No. 5 perfume, as well as in honour of the holiday season.

The packaging even resembles the No. 5 perfume bottle.

Photo from Chanel

The website also displays all the items inside the advent calendar in a flatlay, along with descriptions below.

Photo from Chanel

Photo from Chanel


But for one Elise Harmon in the U.S., who bought the advent calendar in-stores and was not privy to the items it included, opening the large package proved a nasty shock.

She documented the process on her TikTok, and her videos have since gone viral, with netizens expressing their outrage on her behalf over the calendar's less-than-attractive contents.

While Harmon rated the packaging a "10 out of 10", the first box she opened had her exclaiming: "This has to be a joke!"

The box included a set of stickers with the Chanel logo.

As she was "super bummed" about the item, she proceeded to open another box (also ignoring how advent calendars work), which was revealed to be a small 50ml tub of hand cream.

@eliseharmonWorth the hype? Probably not but it is pretty♬ It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas - Michael Bublé

Harmon continued to share other items she unboxed, including a small plain pouch/dust bag, a small plastic snow globe ornament, a magnet, a badge, and even more stickers.

@eliseharmonI’ll lay everything out and show you all of the contents and you can tell me if you think it’s worth it ##chaneladventcalendar♬ Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee

Here's a compilation of some of the items on Twitter.

Like "stuff they found around the warehouse"

Although the advent calendar does include some actual Chanel products such as several mini bottles of perfume, and mini tubes of lipstick, the other items have sparked backlash amongst netizens.

Some TikTok users commenting on Harmon's videos described the items as "junk", or extra samples the brand had scrounged up from their warehouses.

Others pointed out that the contents definitely did not seem to be worth their price tag.

Netizens have even taken to bashing the advent calendar on Chanel's unrelated Instagram posts.

Chanel apologises

In only a few days, Harmon's videos have garnered millions of views, with one racking up over 16 million views.

She subsequently claimed in a separate video that Chanel had blocked her.

Social media users have also claimed that Chanel has since deleted its TikTok account, something which the brand has denied, The Guardian reported on Dec. 6.

Currently, its TikTok account has zero videos and is set to private.

Screenshot from TikTok

According to The Guardian, Chanel said that their TikTok account "has never been activated, no content has ever been published, it has no subscriber and no subscription. The page therefore appears empty to anyone who visits it."

In response to the reactions about its advent calendar, the brand also apologised:

"We are sorry that this calendar may have disappointed some people. The exclusive content of the calendar has always been fully detailed on our website as well as on the packaging of the product: 27 boxes numbered from 5 to 31, containing full-size perfume and makeup products, miniatures and souvenirs all stamped with Gabrielle Chanel’s lucky number."

Harmon later posted another TikTok video with the text: "When you accidentally cancel Chanel", to which several commenters stated that "Chanel cancelled themselves".

@eliseharmonThe woman was too stunned to speak♬ I am a Socialist - Brandons.Sounds

Top photo from eliseharmon / TikTok