Chanel’s $825 advent calendar is being called ‘an overpriced sticker book’

This is a screenshot from this video, also below, from A Heated Mess on YouTube

I’ve been seeing tweets about Chanel’s Advent Calendar, which sells for a whopping $825, not being worth the price at all. This news first broke on TikTok, when a woman named Elisa Harmon posted the contents of the calendar in a series of videos. It included stickers, a “bracelet” that looked like a bottle cap on a string, and a dust bag. Harmon claimed she was blocked by Chanel on TikTok after that and there were rumors that Chanel deleted their TikTok account.

Harmon explained in a follow up video that she bought the advent calendar in the store, where the contents were not shown to the consumers. The calendar is now sold out, but according to Harmon you could see the contents online before purchasing it from the Chanel website. There was a lipstick, nail polish and a small full size No. 5 perfume along with two mini perfumes and a snow globe, but the rest of the products were cheap freebies like stickers and weird-looking “jewelry.” I’ve embedded a TikTok below with the full contents and a video queued up to the end reveal. The YouTuber whose photo I posted above, A Heated Mess, called it “The most frustrating, overpriced $825 sticker book” in the title to her review.

Chanel has responded to this controversy by claiming their calendar is incredible and that it’s not true that they blocked Harmon since they never use TikTok. Plus they have an excuse for all those crappy products – they used sustainable materials. Here are some quotes that their president gave to Women’s Wear Daily.

Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS, said the French luxury house produced the calendar as part of this year’s celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Chanel No.5 perfume, and it did not expect the negative feedback.

“This controversy is a bit of a shame because it was not what Chanel intended. Chanel thought it would please some of its customers by offering this type of product. Evidently, we see that you have to be careful and therefore, in future, we will certainly be much more cautious,” Pavlovsky told WWD on Monday.

Asked whether this was the first time that Chanel produced an advent calendar, the executive said: “No, I don’t think so, but it wasn’t necessarily for sale.” He added that the 2021 calendar was produced in a very limited run, which was totally sold out.

A spokesman confirmed it was the first time Chanel had offered a calendar for sale.

This year’s edition retails for $825 and contains 27 boxes numbered from five to 31, containing full-size perfume and makeup products, miniatures and souvenirs all stamped with founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s lucky number.

In a video that has been viewed 14.7 million times, TikTok creator Elisa Harmon expressed her disappointment over items including stickers, a picture flip-book, a dustbag and a string bracelet with a wax seal-shaped pendant. She later alleged that Chanel’s TikTok account blocked her.

In an official statement, Chanel said the claim was “absolutely inaccurate,” as the brand is not active on TikTok.

“We have never blocked access to the Chanel TikTok account to anyone, because it is simply not active. It 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,” the house clarified.

“When Ms. Harmon visited our page, she naturally found the usual message that she could not access this account, just like anyone else on the network,” it added.

“We are very committed to sharing our world and our creations with our followers on social networks. Our pages are open to everyone, and millions of followers follow us all over the world. They are of course free to express their feelings and opinions, whether they are enthusiastic or critical, if they respect the rules of good conduct in accordance with the uses of social networks — no defamation, calls to violence, threats, or intimidation,” Chanel said.

“We are aware of the comments that are currently visible under our publications and are sorry that this calendar may have disappointed some people,” it continued.

“Directly inspired by the mythical silhouette of the No.5 bottle, this calendar, only available for a short period, has a unique design and an original content, which makes it a true collector’s item whose value cannot be summed up by the products it contains alone,” Chanel said. Pavlovsky said a special effort had been made to use more sustainable materials. “I think it is one of the most beautiful ever made, both in terms of design and the materials used,” he said of the calendar, which even Harmon praised for its sophisticated packaging.

[From WWD]

How snotty is this response? So the takeaway is that the box is the best part of this I guess. I asked my friend Ameerah, who is a luxury beauty aficionado, you can see her YouTube Channel here, for a quote about this. She said “I love luxury makeup but there is no way in hell I would spend that amount of money on what is essentially a mystery box.” Ameerah added “Advent calendars in general are ripoffs. Very rarely does the value inside justify the price. I think Chanel did this because they knew they could and that people would buy it just to say they bought a Chanel advent calendar. Nothing in that box was going to justify the price tag.”

People seem to like the Dior advent calendar, which is $550 and contains mostly beauty products. However in the comments in a review by A Heated Mess on YouTube, a former Dior employee wrote “Everything except the candle are already giving [sic] out to the customers as a free gift with purchase and doesn’t have any value.” I was interested in the Charlotte Tilbury calendar as I splurged on one of her products once, but I found negative reviews for that too. Ameerah is right, these advent calendars aren’t worth the price. Just buy the full size products you’re interested in.


#chaneladventcalendar #chaneladventcalendar2021 #designerbeauty #luxebeauty #adventcalendar

♬ Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Frank Sinatra

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34 Responses to “Chanel’s $825 advent calendar is being called ‘an overpriced sticker book’”

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  1. JEM says:

    I watched A Heated Mess’s unboxing video. The Chanel Advent Calendar was absolutely insulting to the buyer…there was even an EMPTY jewelry sized dust bag. Seriously Chanel. I am boycotting Chanel for awhile because that Calendar was soul-crushingly terrible.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ JEM, though I can afford Chanel products, I refuse to purchase a handbag that’s $10k for it to sit in my closet for a majority of the year. I also refuse to spend $2k for costume jewelry solely due to the fact it has Chanel, or CD, logos on it. I want a return on my investment and spending ridiculous amounts of money solely to be a walking billboard for a fashion house is a big pass for me. I don’t understand the desire or need to spend that much money on clothing or accessories that don’t justify the price tag. The fact that we have become a society that “needs” to spend money on clothing that is only fad is a complete waste of our money that will go out of style for 30+ years!! We are also creating a massive amount of fast fashion that ends up in third world countries that are causing detrimental damage to the planet and effecting the natural resources of those countries. We are also living with manufacturers purposely turning out less effective goods so that we have to replace our washers/refrigerators/dishwashers on a more consistent basis solely based on their bottom line, not ours! I am sick of this mentality for us to spend so much money on products that are poorly made, and made by using unethical labor practices, to feed the beasts of over consumerism. In addition to the glaring fact that wages have been stagnant since the ‘70’s but inflation has skyrocketed since then.

      Sorry, I will get off of my soapbox now. I am just angry at the thought that we must have the latest in everything, from shoes to cars without a thought or care about where or how it comes into our homes.

  2. FancyPants says:

    Serious question: what did people think was going to be in it? $825 worth of Chanel stuff? Uhhh that’s not how businesses make money off of seasonal merchandise marketed toward suckers with disposable income. If you want the perfume, buy the perfume, not a giant pile of cardboard with more piles of cardboard in it that all ends up in the trash.

    • Sid says:

      I don’t think anyone expected $825 worth of Chanel items, but I do think they expected a little more effort than what Chanel put in. Chanel was never going to include bags, etc. but they could have added some more makeup. For example Charlotte Tilbury has a higher end makeup brand and does overpriced advent calendars every year, but at least the items included are useful. Plastic bracelets and stickers are just embarassing.

      • I am going to answer this one as I am a MASSIVE potions and lotions whore and beauty products are my biggest splurge. (Though I am still cheap as hell, and no, CANNOT afford this thing)

        What we expect from advent calendars and special product sets are either great deals (Like I got a Cicapair Tigergrass set on black friday at sephora that had a full size of the product I use for LESS then I would normally pay and with lots of goodies like face wash, a small cream and a superfancy mask) or special products made for the set. Like I have the CUTEST lily Pulitzer makeup bag I got with a set for xmas from Estee lauder that had one of a kind gold accented lipstick, eye-shadow and mascara. It didn’t’ look like there was even ONE special product in that cheap ass chanel box. not even a special NAIL COLOR!?!?! And can you imagine splurging on that for your mate and they tell you today’s pick was a FUCKING SNOW-GLOBE OR STICKERS? Ffs, I would rather have a small face wash, I could travel with, or a face-mask, but a BOOKMARK?! This is such a fail, and I LOVE that they are getting dragged for it. Cosmetics companies are some of the biggest scammers in the market and it’s not talked about enough because it’s a “woman thing”.

      • josephine says:

        I agree, it was outrageous. The included items were junky, tacky, and thoughtless. No one wants that junk. I love advent calendars and there are plenty in which you get items of real value, like small soaps, perfumes, candles, make-up, etc. What Chanel included would go straight into the bin in my house. I don’t even know kids who keep those items.

    • Kaykay says:


  3. observer says:

    i’m curious, how many CB’ers could afford this in the first place? not me for one

    • antipodean says:

      I’m with you, observer. This sounds like a very expensive “lucky dip” to me. More in keeping with a church bazaar than a luxury brand house!

    • Mac says:

      I guess technically I can afford it, but it would never even cross my mind to drop $825 on something so worthless. If I’m spending that much it probably means my stove died.

    • Kaykay says:

      I could technically afford it – as in I have the money in the bank.
      But I could NEVER afford it – because it’s trash. Not only is it trash, it’s also a huge waste of resources and it makes me angry. I like to spend my money wisely and I’d rather put the same value in to investments.

      This is silly. Chanel IS overpriced trash.

    • Jai says:

      I can afford it, I even wanted it. Then I realized that I could buy TWO Hermes scarves for the price of that one box and those would last a heck of lot longer. The box alone was so cool though, I’m off to search for a how to and make one for myself and save the money.

  4. AmelieOriginal says:

    Are advent calendars a thing major companies sell now? The reason I ask is because my aunt sent us a Bonne Maman advent calendar (!!) without warning us and we weren’t sure what it was and if we should open it now or wait til Christmas. And I mean Bonne Maman as in the jelly company you see in the grocery store. When my aunt said to open it now, we were stunned to find a very beautiful box with beautiful art illustrations and 24 doors to open each revealing a mini jar of jam (the size of a shot glass) with a different flavor for every day. You can see it here on the Bonne Maman website, it’s out of stock now so Lord knows when my aunt ordered it: My family is well-known for buying Bonne Maman and reusing their jars as glasses (they’re literally the only drinking glasses my family uses), they’re sturdy and do well in the dishwasher. People used to think it was odd but now with global warming and everyone being ecologically minded, a lot of people have copied our family. However not sure what we are going to do with 24 shot glasses once we eat all the jellies lol. Hence my aunt’s unexpected yet thoughtful gift.

    I remember as a kid just getting the cheap Christmas/Christian themed ones (I’m Catholic) and having a different picture for each day, we never got the chocolate ones growing up since I didn’t know they existed until much later. Didn’t realize a whole industry had risen up behind them.

    • They have them for EVERYTHING now. My Dad is impossible to buy for and NEVER wants presents but we got him a fancy whisky tasting advent calendar and he LOVES it, my mom got a Godiva chocolate one, and I got my husband one with small jigsaw puzzles,.And there are beauty ones GALORE. I was going to treat myself to a really nice candle advent calendar at sephora but it sold out INSTANTLY. And I’m jealous of the bonne maman one, I love their stuff! What a nice Aunt!

    • cosmic_catastrophe says:

      Such a delightful unexpected gift from your aunt, Amelie! After hearing about the hype, and seeing it featured on some ‘best of’ advent calendar lists, I bought myself a Bonne Maman calendar last year. To my surprise, it actually did a lot to bring me cheer during those pandemic holiday times, when I wasn’t able to travel back to my home state to see my family (it’s the little things, I suppose). Even though I didn’t and don’t usually have toast with jam for breakfast, it was fun to see which flavor combination was next (a lot of which are exclusive to the calendar itself). I ended up giving the teensy glass jars to a crafty friend – she’ll no doubt put them to good use.

    • Juniper says:

      I love the Bonne Maman calendar! I got one in 2019 at a Tuesday Morning after Christmas sale so definitely check there. It was fun to try all the different flavors. The jar is about 1-2 servings, depending on how thick you like it.

  5. Lauren says:

    Advent calendars in general are a wasteful mess. They are full of boxes and useless packaging that will most likely end up in landfills, plus usually, they are just full of cheap junk. There are plenty of DYI advent calendars around that can be used year after year and you can personalize them to your taste or somebody else’s if you want to gift one.

  6. Paloma says:

    Technically I think most of us could put this on a credit card? It’s all relative and based on societal norms. It’s a flex for those who like to show how rich they are, I’m sure. Obviously it is a “waste” of money. But a lot of people are already “wasting” lots of money even people that never spend more than $100 on a handbag. Here are some examples: we do not need to purchase brand new clothes. Most people feel they deserve it and it’s normal. (I purchase brand new clothes.) technically we do not need a lot of clothes and there are plenty of clothes in brand new condition at thrift stores (if you don’t live in a city, maybe not though.) many people choose to buy a new car when they could buy a (same model) car that’s a couple years old for $5-10 grand less. No one needs to go to a restaurant, pay for nails-related labour, pay for foils in their hair, or pay $10 for one shot of alcohol with fruit flavour and Soda because “that’s what life is”. A few years ago I went through some financial issues and learned how much is not necessary and really doesn’t change the result. So no this is not in the budget but if someone likes spending their $800 on this instead of a Bunch of Amazon fast fashion that is probably better for the planet. There are a lot of people who spend bigger money money on things like video game / anime dolls, fetish things, tattoos, swords to display, owning a snake, concert tickets, etc. I would much rather have this advent box then most of those things! It doesn’t take much space and I like the collectible feelings and the aesthetic and the brand. I rarely wear perfume (I’m sensitive) but have more than $1000 of perfume on my dresser. I have bags worth more than this advent calendar that I don’t wear too. This yes I got a babybel calendar and it was a good value. Nespresso does a calendar too and it’s discounted in Canada probably because the month is started. There are two more examples: none of us need to eat cheese, many eat too much for health, cheese is technically a waste of money, so are coffee capsules but they add value to life

    • Emma says:

      At 41, I’m so over materialism. It’s all a racket. This included (although the Chanel guy has a point when he says it has additional value as a rare collectible). I’ve made my share of dumb expensive purchases in the past and I hope to god I’m over it now.

      • Try being over 50. my husband and I just look at each other and say, “Where are we going to PUT IT” for each and every purchase. I now understand my parents who have been telling me for years and years, “They can afford what they need to buy and they don’t want more things in their house” when I ask them what they want for xmas. I am THAT now. Except for jewelry and perfume. I can ALWAYS find room for those.

  7. Darla Mapleton says:

    Watching that video was torture.

  8. rmcgrudiva says:

    This year was the first year I got into advent calendars – impulse buying got me a wine advent ($99) and a cheese advent ($55). Those I’m enjoying! I don’t think i would have enjoyed opening the Chanel one as much.

    • StartupSpouse says:

      I’m with Kaiser on Charlotte Tillbury advent calendar. I wanted to try her products and didn’t know where to start. I bought the advent calendar when it was 50% off and really liked some things, which I then purchased in the full size. I think it was worth it at 50% off – I wouldn’t have paid full price for it.

      • yvrjanice says:

        Genuinely curious – when and where did you buy one of her advents for 50% off? I would have jumped at that deal.

  9. ME says:

    People will buy anything. How is this calendar even sold out? Are there that many stupid people who want to throw away money?

    • Darla Mapleton says:

      I think this is for people who can’t actually afford Chanel items like a purse, so they would like to have anything Chanel that they can get there hands on and show off. $800 is a ton of money but so much less considering what actual Chanel handbags, clothing and accessories cost.

      • Lyds says:

        I don’t know. That is A LOT to spend on dumb trinklety things. I have one Chanel purse that was from a very unique collection and pre-loved; I consider it worth every penny. However, I would never ever even if I was rolling in it, purchase this sucker of an advent calendar. It would only be worth it if every day had a full sized perfume bottle or each contained parts that eventually allowed you to build a mini wallet-on-a-chain. I would rather spend that money on a new Boyy or Proenza Schouler bag.

        For those suckers, don’t even air your grievances online when you know you’ll be ripped off! Unless it’s merely to provide entertainment for the rest of us…

  10. Jai says:

    This whole thing has been a major PR fail for Chanel. I know it’s supposed to be “… even bad press is good press” but not when you’ve made your customers look foolish. The interview with the president was painfully out of touch even for a lux brand. Advent calendars, like gifts with purchase, should be about enticing your customers to indulge in your other products, not make them feel like an idiot for buying from you in the first place.

  11. Kaykay says:

    Let’s do the math.

    The calendar is $825, with 24 doors. That is $34 per door.
    The only stuff Chanel has that is $34 and under are:
    A bar of soap, deodorant, nail polish, makeup pens, makeup brushes and mascara.

    Not even a single eyeshadow.
    What do people expect to be in this thing?

    Instead, they could’ve gotten themselves a bunch of makeup or skincare, a nice card holder, their classic mini pouch or a nice piece from their costume jewelry collection.

  12. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    This is similar to people who buy stuff from Gwyneth Paltrow. It’s their money to waste. You know what they say about a fool and his/her money. As long as it wasn’t false advertising, and it doesn’t look like Chanel misled anyone. People knew the contents of the box were a mystery, and threw their money away anyway. On a trip to Japan, I once tried those “Fukubukuro” bags (where stores get rid of old merchandise by selling bags full of mystery items), and it was kind of fun? But you have to go into it with the mindset that the contents are a mystery and you are actually gambling.

  13. Kristen says:

    No one who can ACTUALLY afford to spend $825 on an advent calendar cares that it’s garbage — they’re just buying it because it’s Chanel and honestly will probably never think twice about the money.

  14. E.D says:

    Advent calendars are huge in the U.K and I must admit, being on lockdown in Australia when all the beauty ones were released this year I jumped on the train hard and bought 3 of them!
    So many people do unboxing reviews on YouTube now, that you can easily see exactly what’s in them and avoid dud ones like the Chanel one was this year.
    Beauty retail sites like Cult Beauty and Space N.K do brilliant calendars that are a mix of skincare and makeup and because they are multi-brand ones the are usually the best value every year IMO.

  15. Jc says:

    I had my husband buy me the Lush advent calendar this year and I love it. Though I am a huge advent calendar fan (my dogs have three!) and Lush. 25 full sized products inside it for $300 in a reusable lovely box.

  16. Veronica S. says:

    Chanel does some great higher end makeup and perfume, so it wouldn’t have even been hard to make that worth it even if it wasn’t a huge steal money wise. That’s just insulting to people who are loyal to those brands and want to splurge to hand them that.

    I generally find the best advent calendars are food-based or something silly like socks. Anything else is really pushing it.