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Does Jo Malone’s advent calendar smell as good as it looks?

Does Jo Malone’s advent calendar smell as good as it looks?
We hot a sneak peek at the Jo Malone advent calendar for 2021 – here’s what to expect inside this year’s selection of colognes, candles, soaps and more

The Jo Malone advent calendar is easily one of the most highly anticipated launches of the festive period. Each year, the brand packages up a perfect marriage of old favourites and new seasonal products – a balance that’s certainly exemplified by this year’s offering.

Launching on 30 setembro, a 2021 calendar line-up is presented in a new, reusable design – this time around with a lifted lid and a drawer, in a shape akin to a jewellery box, in the signature Jo Malone London cream and black colourway.

Each of the two levels is stuffed with scented delights, from candles and colognes to body butters and miniature soaps, which are among the exclusives that this year’s calendar boasts.

It’s a luxury option that’s clearly designed as an extravagant treat – to yourself or otherwise – rather than a budget buy, and one that will likely rack up a waitlist of thousands. Contudo, while few beauty advent calendars worth owning come cheap, Jo Malone’s sits at the steepest end of the curve, at a slightly eye-watering £325.

So is it really worth dropping that much of your hard-earned Natal budget on scenting yourself and your home this December? We got our hands on one to examine it in person and find out.

Como testamos

Sorry Santa – we broke tradition and opened up our calendar as soon as it arrived in September, taking into consideration the look and feel of the packaging, the quality of the materials and of course, the selection and scent of what was inside. We considered the throw of the candles, the quality of the fragrances and the overall experience of each day to assess value for (nesse caso, quite a lot of) money.

Calendário do Advento de Jo Malone 2021: £325, disponível a partir de 30 September at

Join waitlist now £325,

  • On sale: 30 setembro
  • Número de dias: 24
  • Preço: £325
  • Avaliação: 8.5/10


First impressions count when it comes to beauty advent calendars, and Jo Malone London’s makes a good one – the box and drawers are impressively sturdy, and the classy minimalist design means you can happily reuse this all year round without it feeling too festive on your dressing table. If you love your Christmas calendars to come with all of the (jingle) bells and whistles, you might feel it’s missing a bit of sparkle, but to us this just meant it felt classy and sophisticated when on display.

Each of the drawers – which vary in size for a satisfying jigsaw effect – slip in and out of the main frame seamlessly, and we can certainly see ourselves repurposing it for other beauty staples, or other miscellaneous smaller items.

Inside, each gift comes neatly wrapped in silver tissue paper, which again, would be lovely to save and use again for stocking fillers come Christmas morning.


Avert your eyes now if you hate spoilers – we’re about to break down what’s inside.

If you’re a diehard Jo Malone London fan, this calendar reads like a who’s who of the brand’s all-time bestsellers, and all of your boxes will definitely be ticked: there’s cameos from the likes of pomegranate noir, lime basil and mandarin, English pear and freesia and wood sage and sea salt in various forms.

We love the minimalist design of this year’s advent calendar

The principle offerings are colognes and candles; we counted 14 of the former and four of the latter, interspersed with boujie bathroom treats like hand wash, body crème and bar soaps. If we’re honest, we wouldn’t usually be too excited about soap, as it’s often a bit of a filler, but these are so beautifully fragranced you can smell them through their wrapping, and come in chic shapes that make them a decorative accessory, as well as a functional item.

As with the packaging, Jo Malone has avoided going too heavily down the seasonal route this year – there are nods to Christmas with the inclusion of a mini pine and eucalyptus candle, and warming colognes like orange bitters, but most of the selections are evergreen picks, with no particularly unique festive entries.

Novamente, we liked this, as it meant we were more likely to use the products throughout the spring and summer months too. Often calendars are stuffed with glittery or wintery buys that are great for that particular time of year, but then get relinquished to the back of the cupboard when the sun reappears and expire before they’re finished.

The brand has included a little booklet that talks you through your new addition each day

With the Jo Malone advent calendar for 2021, we felt we were getting a full fragrance wardrobe, for both our bodies and our homes, that we’d return to time and time again for various occasions. Mais, there was enough variety in the notes to keep us from getting bored.

Ever sticklers for attention to detail, Jo Malone has also included a little booklet that talks you through your new addition each day, and has tips for getting the best out of it, such as how to layer your colognes or burn candles without tunnelling, which was a nice extra touch.


Obviously with this calendar you won’t get as broad a mix of options as you would in a department store calendar that spans skincare, make-up and more, but for those who love Jo Malone, that’s the appeal – it’s unadulterated fragrance heaven, which minimises your chances of being disappointed by a moisturiser that doesn’t suit your complexion, or a lipstick in the wrong colour, por exemplo.

There is one 30ml cologne included, but for the price we would have liked to have seen a couple of slightly larger-sized products, perhaps on day one or day 24, to make the experience even more exciting. Dito isto, Jo Malone’s fragrances don’t ever come cheap, and that’s because of their quality – even with the miniatures you’ll collect here, this is easily a full year of liberally-applied fragrance, given how impressive the staying power of the scents is, as well as the throw and burn time of the candles. We can still smell one small spritz of cologne hours after application.

Although the brand doesn’t share an overall RRP for the contents (presumably because most of it doesn’t ever go on sale individually), a single 30ml bottle is typically priced at around £52, and a travel size candle £25, to give you some context of how much it could quickly add up.

O veredito: Calendário do Advento de Jo Malone 2021

Esses anos advent calendar from Jo Malone doesn’t disappoint – the brand knows what its shoppers like and is delivering it in droves this December. It’s hard not to wince at a price tag quite this high, but as a luxe gift for a loved one – or to yourself – if your budget does stretch, it’s a hard one to beat on the comfort and joy front.

Calendário do Advento de Jo Malone 2021

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