The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

The White Company advent calendar 2021: Sink into 25 days of utter indulgence

Brimming with spa-worthy treats and best-selling scents, we put this year’s offering to the test

Amerley Ollennu
Monday 20 September 2021 09:43
<p>The soothing set is perfect for carving out a little me time this festive season   </p>

The soothing set is perfect for carving out a little me time this festive season

We think it’s fair to say that for most of the nation the run up to Christmas is far more exciting than the actual day (unless you’re a little one). And advent calendars play a huge role in that.

In recent years our favourite beauty brands have stepped in to elevate the humble (but much loved) milk chocolate calendar to dizzying heights of decadence. You’ll find countless beauty advent calendars vying for your attention this year, offering major savings on some of the world’s most coveted beauty buys.

One of our favourites last year was from The White Company. This quintessentially British brand is known for its timeless aesthetic that translates into shelfie-worthy skincare and the type of home scents, and bodycare, you want to show off in your guest bathroom. So, it’s unsurprising that its version of an advent calendar sold out in a matter of weeks.

That’s why we were excited to see how their 2021 version measured up. This year the brand focused on creating “a moment of indulgence every day,” by way of its luxe packaging and bolstering range of products from some of their best-selling ranges.

How we tested

While comparison can be the thief of joy, we decided to compare The White Company’s fifth advent calendar with its previous offerings. We also looked for a broad range of product types and whether the order of gifting had been thoughtfully considered to aid the user in getting through what will inevitably be a fun-filled busy December, that will no doubt make up for last year’s quiet, calm and sombre festive season.

Read more:

The White Company advent calendar: £160, Thewhitecompany.com

  • Number of days: 25
  • Products: 26
  • Price: £160

Packaging

Unsurprisingly this calendar is essentially a big white box – we are talking about The White Company after all – with a huge silver bow printed on the front to add some festive cheer. It also has a starry night vibe as the box is adorned with twinkling silver stars in different shapes and sizes, along with Christmas appropriate phrases such as joy, love and wish.

This aesthetic could be somewhat polarising as it does make it feel a little “young”. However, when opening the wardrobe style “doors”, we get a glimpse of the 25 pull-out drawers inside, and you’ll find that while the stars are present here too, the phrases are not, and the pattern is less condensed which gives a more refined and mature feel. It’s definitely far from basic, with luxe touches like magnetic strips in the wardrobe style doors that keep the calendar firmly shut and give a sense of gravitas when opening.

Read more: What’s inside the Fortnum & Mason’s advent calendars?

Inside, those sturdy cardboard pull-out draws we mentioned are covered in stylish textured paper that elevates the aesthetic even further and feel pleasurable on the fingers when pulling out each hidden treasure. Products are nestled within a protective bed of shredded tissue paper, which can of course be recycled or left inside as this calendar is designed to be reused. We see ourselves converting it into a jewellery box, sewing kit, or charger and cable organiser, but the possibilities are endless.

Content

We’re not big fans of surprises, so if you’re the same keep reading, but if you like the idea of something to look forward to, skip to our “value for money” section now.

Day one starts with a full-size cinnamon, clove and orange scented winter candle (£10, Thewhitecompany.com), that catapulted us into the Christmas spirit and had us yearning for mince pies in September. For the rest of the month you’ll find products infused with best-selling scents that have become synonymous with the brand. Think the Seychelles, pomegranate and lime and bay ranges.

Standout products for us included the Seychelles handbag hand cream (£7, Thewhitecompany.com), which as the name suggests is perfect for throwing in your handbag and using post hand sanitiser. It kept our hands smooth and hydrated, while simultaneously whisking us away (mentally) to the Indian Ocean – thanks to the mix of bergamot, orange, and fresh coconut, alongside hints of green jasmine, and warming vanilla and amber.

There are two further products – a shampoo and conditioner – available in this calendar from the Seychelles range. Not available otherwise they make for quite a treat, especially for those who are big fans of the Seychelles scent. A risky move nonetheless, as the beauty buffs among you are probably pretty discerning when it comes to haircare, but we have to say it paid off. They get the job done when it comes to cleansing and moisturising tresses, and catching a whiff of our hair at points throughout the day was unexpectedly uplifting.

Read more: The Body Shop advent calendars for 2021 are here to sleigh

The sleep hand and body balm (£20, Thewhitecompany.com) is another calendar exclusive, while the sleep pulse point (£8.40, Thewhitecompany.com) which is usually only available with the leep soothing mist, made perfect bedfellows. Laced with relaxing lavender, restorative clary sage and soothing chamomile these aided relaxation post busy workdays and encouraged deep restorative sleep. These, we can only imagine, will do the same when Christmas party season hits, and long days are followed by even longer nights.

We also appreciated the essential oil blend that made up the calm bath shot (£8, Thewhitecompany.com). Packed with juniper berry, clary sage and ylang ylang, half of the bottle poured under running water into a warm bath left us feeling peaceful and relaxed. Again, keeping in mind that this year’s Christmas is likely to look very different to the last (at least we hope so), we have no doubt we will crave some peace and quiet here and there, and this allows you to carve that out for yourself with ease.

Read more: Cult Beauty’s 2021 advent calendar has landed

All in all, there are three shower gels, four candles (two of which are full sized), two body lotions, four hand creams, three hand washes, one shampoo, one conditioner, one hand and body balm, two bath shots, three body balms, and one pulse point roll on. The overarching theme is very much that of cleansing and moisturising, which after close to two years of keeping our hands clean seems fitting.

Value for money

Retailing at £160 but worth £245 there are definitely savings to be made with this advent calendar. However, unlike the 2020 version and the 2019 version, product variety is lacking.

In 2019 the brand included eua de toilettes, skincare, footcare, a body scrub and lip care, plus much of what is present in this year’s version, while the 2020 calendar contained a rose quartz gua sha, a body scrub, and a Christmas party worthy shimmer body lotion, again alongside items like candles, shower gels, body balms and hand creams.

Buy now£160, Thewhitecompany.com

The verdict: The White Company advent calendar

Let’s start off with what we think this calendar nails, and that would be the way it guides you through the month of December. It gets you into the Christmas spirit from day one thanks to that Starbucks Christmas latte-esque candle, and then beautifully anticipates moments throughout the month where we are guaranteed to need an energy boost or a dose of calm.

What did surprise us was the sheer amount of hand wash, body wash, hand cream and body moisturisers, which felt a little excessive despite the agreeable scents and pleasing and practical textures (we love a hand cream that doesn’t feel greasy and linger). It certainly makes for a great gift as the products are “safe bets”, and we imagine that for those of you who like good quality miniatures to travel with or throw in your gym bag there’s no need to look any further. However, if you like more variety you may want to keep searching.

Voucher codes

For discounts on beauty advent calendars and other skincare offers, try the links below:

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?

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 bougie bathroom treats

Diptyque advent calendar – the French perfume house has unveiled a cabinet of curiosities

John Lewis advent calendar – with £600 worth of beauty products, is it worth the hype?

Mac advent calendar – packed with bestsellers, this one will sell out fast

Net-A-Porter advent calendar – with £1,300 worth of products for just £255, this is worth considering

Selfridges advent calendar– this one comes with a 45-minute beauty concierge appointment

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in