Sniffin’ out the Good Stuff — Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel Collection
Back in the ’80s, practically every girl in elementary school had her very own sticker collection: cartoon-inspired numbers, holographic tidbits, fuzzy pieces and, of course, scratch ‘n ‘sniff varieties. The latter were my favorite — perhaps because they required a certain level of interaction, beckoning you to not only regard them but to run your fingernail over their surface and then lean in to detect any fragrance notes released. Not surprisingly, I was also a fan of scented markers and Lip Smackers lip balms.
The little girl inside of me, then, did a triple cartwheel when I spotted the new Revlon Parfumerie collection of scented nail enamels at my local Rite Aid. This isn’t Revlon’s first foray into the scented nail lacquer realm, but it’s certainly its best. The packaging alone is sublime, with each bottle having a square shape and a dome-shaped, faux ceramic top in a sleek black color so as to resemble a vintage perfume flaçon.
The collection is divided into three families: Fruits & Florals, which feature tender bloom notes and ripe fruit scents; Freshes, which have clean and crisp fragrance notes; and Sweets & Spices, which incorporate woody, oriental, and gourmand notes. The Freshes category, for instance, incorporates scents like: Surf Spray, a periwinkle blue; Wintermint, a soft metallic green with hints of icy teal glitter; Sunlit Grass; a perky, creamy yellow; and Fresh Linen, an ecru shade with an iridescent finish. The Fruits & Florals family, meanwhile, features scents like African Tea Rose, a full-bodied magenta pink with a creamy finish; China Flower, a classic red; Apricot Nectar, a semi-sheer peach; and Wild Violets, a dark blue-toned purple. The Sweets & Spices category, meanwhile, incorporates some of the most intriguing scents: Bordeaux, a deep aubergine shade; Italian Leather, a brownish olive green with a demure, all-over bronze shimmer; and Autumn Spice, a coppery russet brown with plenty of shimmer.
Now, when I spotted these at Rite Aid, I wanted to take the entire display to the checkout but cooler heads prevailed and I decided to choose four shades that I found lovely both in terms of their tonality and their corresponding scents. In the end, I settled on China Flower, Moonlit Woods, Bordeaux, and Italian Leather.
Below, I’ve included photos of each shade, along with a description of how exactly it smells. But first, let me explain the way the scented nail polishes manifest themselves. First, resists the urge to unscrew the cap of each polish and take a whiff since, in many cases, the fragrance notes might be disguised by the other ingredients in the formula responsible for enabling the lacquer to adhere to your nails, remain nice and shiny, and so forth. Instead, paint your nails as you normally would and, once dry, then lift your fingernails to your nose and inhale the pleasant scent. Some nail lacquers will retain their aroma for several hours while others will remain fragrant for over a 24-hour period (I personally found this astounding). Also, don’t be afraid to apply a top coat to seal in your manicure. I was deathly afraid that, by doing so, I’d be somehow interfering with the aromatic properties of the Revlon Parfumerie nail lacquers but, to my delight, a clear top coat did absolutely nothing to diminish the power of the scented polish beneath it.
Now that we’ve cleared all that up, let’s talk about the shades I tried out!
Revlon Parfumerie Italian Leather Scented Nail Enamel:
I love the smell of leather — it’s a bit masculine, tough, mysterious, and almost musky. This nail lacquer captured those qualities perfectly. Also, as its name implies, the scent was sophisticated — you could detect it but didn’t overpower the senses in the way that cheap leather tends to do. As for the color, it’s a rather dark, almost mossy olive green with a slight golden tonality and subtle bronze shimmer that makes the color appear warmer and livelier.
Revlon Parfumerie Bordeaux Scented Nail Enamel
This vampiric shade of red had the most potent scent out of all the nail lacquers I tested. It smelled like a glass of Sangria which has traditionally been made with Bordeaux or Rioja wine. Since I’m a wine lover (albeit not a connoisseur), I kept curling up my fingers and raising them to my nostrils every chance I got just so I could breathe in the blackcurrant-tinged aroma. In terms of the nail enamel’s color, it’s actually quite fitting for its fragrance profile as the hue is a deep and full-bodied purplish red, almost a blood-like hue, with a creamy finish.
Revlon Parfumerie Moonlit Woods Scented Nail Enamel
I picked up this nail enamel because the color simply fascinated me but, admittedly, I had no idea what it would smell like since “Moonlit Woods” is quite a vague moniker. When I applied the nail polish, I was immediately smitten with the moody, smoky, silvery violet hue and its mysterious sheen, which seemed rather evocative of twilight. The scent didn’t manifest itself incredibly quickly but, once it did, it was beguiling. I kept smelling my fingertips trying to determine what notes I was detecting. It was a rather sweet scent, almost caramel-like, but there was a floral element to it as well. Finally, it hit me: candied violets!
Revlon Parfumerie China Flower Scented Nail Enamel
The Revlon Parfumerie China Flower nail enamel is a perky, holiday-ready red, with a tonality similar to that of holly berries, a creamy texture, and a glossy sheen. As for its scent, it’s incredibly soft and barely perceptible but, if you really pay close attention, you might detect what appears to be a powdery, ethereal, hibiscus-like aroma.
All in all, when it came to the Revlon Parfumerie nail lacquers I tried, I was most smitten with Moonlit Woods because of its color and finish, while Bordeaux won me over with its robust scent.