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Is Acqua di Parma’s advent calendar worth the £450 price tag?

There are 25 treats inside this handmade Christmas countdown

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Tuesday 17 October 2023 16:12 BST
The miniature goodies include the colonia, blu Mediterraneo arancia di Capri and fico di Amalfi scents
The miniature goodies include the colonia, blu Mediterraneo arancia di Capri and fico di Amalfi scents (The Independent)

The temperature has dropped and autumn is well underway, signalling the start of cosy season and making us look forward to Christmas. While there are still a couple of months to go, that also means there’s time to get organised, should you be seeking gift inspiration or shopping for food and drink hampers ahead of the big day.

One of our favourite parts about the festive countdown is selecting an advent calendar, with options spanning everything from jewellery to gin. Plus, beauty advent calendars are always a popular pick, thanks to an annual assortment of offerings from Liberty, Lookfantastic, No7, The Body Shop and many more.

Typically filled with skincare, make-up and perfume, beauty advent calendars can vary in price and products, so selecting one depends on your budget and the brands you have in mind.

Speaking of which, deluxe Italian scent brand Acqua di Parma just launched its holiday collection for 2023. Within the range is an extravagant advent calendar featuring 25 products, including cologne, perfume, body lotion and candles. The calendar is handmade, features signature details, exudes Christmas opulence and has a sizeable price tag of £450.

Because shopping for a beauty advent calendar is such a treat, we’ve unboxed Acqua di Parma’s fragrance and body care goodies, to bring you our verdict on whether it’s worth an extremely indulgent splurge.

How we tested

A selection of the minis inside the Acqua di Parma advent calendar (Helen Wilson-Beevers)

We spent a few days unboxing the Acqua di Parma advent calendar, sampling the contents inside. We looked at the packaging, and items included. But we also assessed whether the luxury offering is worth the extravagant price tag. Keep reading for our full tried and tested review.

Acqua di Parma advent calendar

acqua di parma advent calendar.jpg
  • Worth: £604
  • Number of days: 25
  • Advent calendar highlights : Acqua di Parma bosco candle, Acqua di Parma colonia eau de cologne, Acqua di Parma arancia di Capri shower gel and Acqua di Parma signatures of the sun osmanthus body cream
  • Available: Now
  • Why we love it
    • Sturdy and deluxe design
    • Good selection of products
  • Take note
    • No full-size items
    • Expensive

The large circular shape reminds us of a luxury hat box. Opening it up feels like a treat, and we enjoyed spotting the colourful green and red Christmassy designs, such as baubles, stars and wreaths, on the handmade boxes that hold each product included. There’s no doubt this decadent advent calendar will take pride of place during December, and it could even be reused afterwards, too.

Inside Acqua di Parma’s advent calendar, there are 25 travel-sized products, including colonia c.l.u.b. eau de cologne (£92 for 50ml,, blu Mediterraneo arancia di Capri eau de toilette (£99 for 75ml,, holiday bosco scented candle (£74 for 200g,, and signatures of the sun osmanthus eau de parfum (£219 for 100ml,

In total, we discovered a 70g and 28g candle; a selection of 40ml shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion products in the colonia and arancia di Capri scents; a 50g soap; 13 scents across eau de toilette, perfume and cologne offerings in fragrances such as fico di Amalfi and mirto di Panarea; and two 15ml signatures of the sun osmanthus body creams.

While it’s worth noting there are no full-sized products in the calendar – which is disappointing, given the expensive cost – the variety of goodies is vast and covers an impressive range of Acqua di Parma scents. So, whether you’re a fan of a specific cologne or fancy trying a perfume, there’s plenty to unwrap and enjoy.

The colonia cologne, for example, is a richly layered and uplifting blend of lemon, orange, lavender, vetiver and sandalwood that offers a long lasting scent. Meanwhile, the body creams serve up velvety, softening hydration that feels sumptuous on the skin. Additionally, the soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner all infuse seemingly mundane tasks with opulent scents and pleasing formulas. Finally, the holiday-scented bosco candle features the same green and red garland and bauble design depicted on the calendar packaging, and its fir tree, clove, eucalyptus and pine needle scent has filled our lounge with a crisp Christmas fragrance that we love.

This is an elegant advent calendar, and Acqua di Parma products do sit at the premium end of the market. So, the cost reflects the brand’s luxury position and the rest of the range’s price points. While there’s no disputing £450 is a major splurge for an advent calendar, if you are looking for Christmas lavishness, this Acqua di Parma buy definitely ticks that box.

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The verdict: Acqua di Parma advent calendar

Acqua di Parma’s advent calendar is a handmade box of luxurious goodies, covering a wide selection of the fragrance brand’s range. While there’s no denying this Christmas countdown comes with a costly price tag, it does have an opulent feel. If you’re looking to sample scent treats and want to splurge for the festive season, this elegant calendar has the lavish corner of the advent calendar market covered.

Shopping for festive gifts? We’ve rounded up the best Christmas beauty sets for 2023 and the best gifts for her

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