Diptyque beauty advent calendar review 2021: A cabinet of curiosities that’s full of well-loved scents

If you’re after a candle with some serious chutzpah that can scent a room like nothing else, few fragrance fans will contest that Diptyque sets the standards. The brand is to scented candles what Chanel is to suits, or The Wolsley is to breakfast – an occasional indulgence that’s well worth the luxury price tag.

And given even its miniature candles can pack a mighty punch, its latest advent calendar will not disappoint. The idea of candles in advent calendars dates back to the 19th century tradition where lighting candles for each day of advent was common practice. This is a chic, Parisian version of that (with a few beauty treats thrown in for good measure). With 12 candles and enough burn time to last at least two evenings each, it enables you to scent your home throughout December in the most decadent way possible.

There are also a number of beauty treats and a couple of trinkets, so fans of the candles can discover its seriously underrated line of body care and skin fragrances too.

The calendar pulls out like a vanity case, each day’s treat is housed in a small slide-out box which can be reused (the packaging can be repurposed the following year as a great personalised advent calendar to be filled with goodies of your choice). At £350, it’s a lot of money to spend on a bit of advent amusement (but if you can’t push the boat out in December, when can you?), so let’s see if it lives up to the hype.

How we tested

We looked at everything from the packaging, to the types of products included, as well as the variety of fragrances and products the calendar had to offer. We also looked for exclusive products and keepsakes to keep die-hard Diptyque fans happy, as well as newcomers wanting to take a whistle-stop tour of the brand.

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Diptyque beauty advent calendar 2021: £350, Diptyqueparis.com

Rating: 7/10

Number of days: 25 Products: 25 Product sizes: 11 mini candles (35g), one small candle (70g) 12 travel-size beauty products, one decorative tree ornament (set of three) Value of products: N/A

Packaging

If you’re not a fan of the usual glitzy festive fripperies, a posh advent calendar like this one is obviously a great choice. It’s not the type of calendar that you can quickly open a window as you’re rushing out to work – and requires a lot of space to open and explore (we had to move our coffee table out of the way so it would fit on the rug in its entirety).

Also, you need to be careful of pets and little people when you’re opening it on the floor, due to all the many small components. But closed, the box converts into a “house” (the flap bends back to make a “roof”) and can fit nicely on a mantlepiece or shelf. Also a word of warning – if you accidentally slide one of the little boxes back in without the thumb groove facing outwards, they can be a nightmare to open again.

Products

As a unisex fragrance brand, there are plenty of Diptyque scents to please all genders, making this a great gift for couples – especially newlyweds who are spending their first Christmas in their new home. The candles have an average 15 hours’ burn time, making them perfect for festive dinner parties or just to unwind and counterbalance the stress of the party season.

Among the mini candles are a few Diptyque classics, especially pomander (£48, Diptyqueparis.com), which emits an enveloping festive fug of Christmas orange, cloves and cinnamon; while feu de bois (£68, Diptyqueparis.com) resembles the scent of a crackling log fire (especially when you live in a one-bed flat and don’t have the real thing in your home).

Roses (£140, Diptyqueparis.com) is probably the most beautiful floral fragrance to scent your bathroom with, and is guaranteed to get guests cooing in admiration. We won’t reveal the final treat you get on the 25th, but it’s pretty special and is sure to bring up an array of festive nostalgia that will last all of Christmas Day (and a good part of Boxing Day).

The beauty treats include 12 fun-size fragrances, which are a great way of discovering your next signature scent without investing in a full sized version straight away. The calendar features four bottles of eaux de toilette and another four stronger eaux de parfum scents, the latter of which are definitely of the richer, “smoky and mysterious” variety. While our tester enjoyed them, they might not be everyone’s olfactory cup of tea.

Although the eaux de toilette has a more universal appeal – eau de sens (£102, Diptyqueparis.com) is a light citrus which can be worn all year round and do son (£125, Diptyqueparis.com) is a gentle floral for those that want something pretty and non-cloying. We were very upset at the omission of the beautiful l’Ombre dans l’eau (£125, Diptyqueparis.com) which is probably the fragrance Diptyque is best known for and newcomers would miss out on by not discovering.

There is also a miniature body cream, body balm and a scrub which have just enough product to last one single application and might be useful for packing on a long weekend. Our favourite was a refillable perfumed balm which comes in a beautiful handbag-friendly compact with an intricate woodcarving-inspired design. The calendar also features a set of three tree decorations, but these left us slightly disappointed. Although they are quite pretty, we found them to be fairly flimsy for such a luxury brand – you can’t help thinking that a keepsake ornament or a mini version of its scented oval to hang from a tree would have been preferable.

The verdict: Diptyque beauty calendar

There’s plenty in the Diptque 2021 advent calendar that will delight most fragrance and beauty fans. While it wins a few green points for being reusable, the cabinet-style packaging felt a bit complicated and cumbersome to unpack (although we appreciate it’s not easy to house 25 products in one single contraption). But once closed, we imagine it would cut a dashing figure beside the a Christmas tree.

It contains enough fragrances to last you throughout the festive season and beyond (there’s not a dud scent in the bunch, although as mentioned, some may be polarising) and a nice medley of beauty products and body fragrances to get your skin soft and fragrant for party season. Although, aside from two limited-edition candles, we felt there wasn’t enough exclusives and keepsakes to make this a more interesting offering for serious Diptyque fans. But it’s a pleasant enough luxury gift to spoil a very lucky loved one.

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Voucher codes For the latest offers on beauty products and fragrances, try our discount code pages: Very discount codes Boots discount codes Read more about the best beauty advent calendars for 2021 Beauty advent calendars 2021 – our ultimate guide to this year’s Christmas treats from M&S, Cult Beauty and more Fortnum & Mason advent calendar – from traditional to 3D pop-ups versions, food fit for a feast and of course, the beauty advent calendar, you’re spoilt for choice The Body Shop advent calendar – this year’s calendar features a selection of the ethically conscious brand’s cult classics Cult Beauty advent calendar – it’s overflowing with skincare and make-up from Charlotte Tilbury, Sunday Riley and more Benefit advent calendar – calling all Bene-babes, the gift you’ve been waiting for all year is here Lookfantastic advent calendar – brimming with skincare, haircare, make-up and bath treats from all your favourite brands Charlotte Tilbury advent calendar – the luxury beauty brand has gone all out for 2021, but is it worth the money? The White Company advent calendar – sink into 25 days of utter indulgence with the brand’s seasonal offering Clarins advent calendar – there are festive options for men and women this year and both are busting with cult products Lush advent calendar – the eco-conscious brand has revealed its joyous gift set with a sustainable focus Asos advent calendar – we got our hands on the fashion retailer’s festive box and there’s plenty to shout about Next advent calendar – this year’s offering is packed with treats from big names such as Clarins and Mac Liberty advent calendar – with treats from Augustinus Bader and Olaplex, this year’s calendar lives up to the hype Jo Malone advent calendar– it’s stuffed with bestselling candles and boujie bathroom treats

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