Diptyque advent!

Quite the departure from the 99p Cadbury affairs I’m used to, the Diptyque advent calendar is majestically presented as a “cabinet of curiosities”. The packaging alone, featuring gilded swirls on its expanding winged sides, is an object d’art and part of what you pay for – along with the brand name and the 25 treats inside. The box is massive and imposing but, if you want to save some space, it niftily converts into a more compact ‘house’, complete with a roof.

This calendar is over the top; unapologetically showy. Even buying it was a theatrical experience, with the sales assistant packing it up in a way so painstaking it evoked memories of Rowan Atkinson in Love Actually. The girls from the Jo Malone counter next door came over to coo, and I was asked if I wanted any samples, or all of the samples. And what were my Christmas plans? I was sweating by the end.

But those five minutes of pain under bright department-store lighting were worth it. Every gloomy December day suddenly feels decadent and promising when you’re unveiling a new fragrant treat from one of the sturdy, expensive-feeling compartments. You’re treated to a mix of Diptyque classics – the candles, of course, but also fragrances in liquid and solid form – along with body balms and butters. The metal decorations included in the box left a lot to be desired, but they still transcended Chanel-advent-calendar levels of disappointment.

Overall, if you’re looking for a taste of how the other half live, you won’t be disappointed.

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