TikTok users unboxing Chanel’s $825 Advent calendar are complaining about the quality of items in the holiday package.
The calendar, which starts on Dec. 5 instead of the first day of the month as a nod to the iconic perfume Chanel No. 5, features such items as a keychain, a Chanel-stamped wax seal and a perfume bottle-shaped paperweight. The package itself is shaped like a massive bottle of perfume.
“This has to be a joke,” TikTok creator Elise Harmon says in a video she posted Sunday, in which she unwraps the calendar. The first box she opens, labeled 9, reveals a sheet of branded stickers. “This is a joke! Stickers?”
In follow-up videos, she unboxes a “baby”-size body cream, a flip book, mini lipsticks, temporary tattoos, a money clip and a magnet.
“I’m pretty sure this is enough cream for my left arm, but it’s very cute,” Harmon jokes.
Although Harmon said she was pleasantly surprised by the nail polish and a larger bottle of Chanel No. 5, which were the only two full-size items in the calendar, she said she was disappointed by the product overall.
“When you’re buying from a brand like Chanel that is coveted and known for quality and luxury and you receive things that [are], like, gumball status and free things that they had given away months prior, it’s questionable,” she says in one of her videos.
Harmon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“When you’re buying from a brand like Chanel that is coveted and known for quality and luxury and you receive things that [are], like, gumball status and free things that they had given away months prior, it’s questionable.”
tiktok creator elise harmon
A spokesperson for Chanel also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement to People magazine, Gregoire Audidier, the international communication and client experience strategy director for Chanel Fragrance & Beauty, pointed to the brand’s website, noting that customers can see everything in the calendar if they buy it online.
“The advent calendar was a limited edition item specially created by CHANEL to celebrate the 100 years of N°5. Directly inspired by the mythical silhouette of the N°5 bottle, the collector’s item and the contents included are detailed on our website, chanel.com,” he told the publication.
The description for the product on Chanel’s website reads: “To celebrate the holiday season and mark 100 years of the legendary fragrance, CHANEL presents a first-of-its-kind calendar crafted in the timeless silhouette of the N°5 flacon. Count down to the holidays with this collector’s item featuring 27 boxes numbered from 5 to 31, filled with mysterious delights and surprises. A piece to treasure for years to come.”
It goes on to list every single item. The product is sold out.
Harmon said she bought her calendar in a store to be more surprised by its contents.
Other creators who posted unboxing videos were similarly baffled.
TikTok creator Emily McCart paired a video unwrapping the box of Chanel stickers with audio of Wendy Williams saying, “What was that?”
Another video, posted by TikTok user ideservecouture, shows a woman ranting in Cantonese as she unboxes each item. One of the Advent boxes reveals a Chanel dust bag.
“While I do not speak the same language, I understood every word,” a commenter said. “SMH Chanel.”
Another replied, “The fact it’s an advent calendar is funny. So you can be disappointed every day for a month.”
TikTok creator chuacookie began posting videos featuring the calendar Sunday. The first box to be opened, labeled 5, was the tiny bottle of Chanel No. 5. Chuacookie placed it next to a measuring tape and tucked it into the crook of a Barbie doll’s arm to show just how small the bottle was.
Harmon claims Chanel blocked her on TikTok. Other TikTok users say Chanel deleted its account following the backlash.
The account @Chanel on TikTok has no followers, and it is set to private.
Audidier told People that the account is “not an active account and no content has ever been published.”
“The page therefore appears empty to anyone who visits it,” Audidier said. “We are committed to sharing our creations with our followers on all social networks we are active on. Our pages are open to everyone, and our followers are free to express their feelings and opinions, whether they are enthusiastic or critical.”
On Instagram, where Chanel has a verified account, the brand faced a barrage of complaints.
“They should make a outfit with all the stickers,” a user commented on Chanel’s Instagram post Tuesday.
“I can’t afford $825 just for stickers,” another wrote.
In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Audidier said the controversy was “a bit of a shame.”
“Because it was not what Chanel intended,” he said. “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.”