Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review: Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Lacquers

I don't normally review nail polishes because I have the manual dexterity of a four-year-old and my nail swatches look like I spilled paint all over my hands. However, I was so excited by these new scented nail polishes by Revlon that I decided to break with tradition and show them to you for your admiration. The Revlon Parfumerie polishes are a new permanent collection. (Yes, you heard that correctly! They're not limited edition!) Some shades have yet to be released, but there will (supposedly) be a full 24 nail polishes in the range by the holidays. I have seven of them, in Wintermint, Apricot Nectar, Lavender Soap, China Flower, African Tea Rose, Autumn Spice, and Wild Violets.


Scented nail polishes get a bad rap for being too early-1990s and for having overpowering, unsophisticated scents. These polishes definitely challenge that crummy reputation.


Wintermint

Revlon Parfumerie Wintermint Nail Swatch
Number of Coats Needed to Reach Opacity: 2
What's the Color?: This is a metallic seafoam with a crapton of microglitter and big hunks of blue sparkle.
What's the Scent?: I normally associate the term "Wintermint" with the really aggressively minty flavor of gum or toothpaste. This scent is much softer and sweeter. Have you ever been a mom-and-pop gelateria where they make mint gelato using actual mint leaves? This smells like that tastes.
Overall Impression: I adore this nail polish. As a nice added bonus, it does appear to be a dupe for Deborah Lippman's Mermaid's Dream. I don't own that polish so I can't make a direct comparison about its similarity, but I can tell you that, once I bought this, I removed Mermaid's Dream from the purgatory that is my online Sephora cart. It filled the Deborah Lippman-sized hole in my heart.

I also want to note that this polish was super easy to remove. Glitters usually kill my nails, but this polish did not.

Apricot Nectar

Revlon Parfumerie Apricot Nectar Nail Swatch

Number of Coats Needed to Reach Opacity: 3
What's the Color?: This a gorgeous, creamy coral.
What's the Scent?: This is a difficult scent to describe. It's one of the flavors that smells a bit more artificial than the other polishes in this line. The scent is definitely overtly fruity and sweet, with less "apricot" than you might expect, given the name. If there was an apricot-flavored Starburst candy, I expect that it would smell like this.
Overall Impression: The overall effect of this polish is absolutely dreamy, but speculate that this is one of the scents that won't be appreciated by people who are sensitive to odors.

Lavender Soap

Revlon Parfumerie Lavender Soap Nail Swatch
Number of Coats Needed to Reach Opacity: 3
What's the Color?: This is a pearly, soft lilac.
What's the Scent?: When this polish first dried, I initially only smelled a soap-y odor, and I was totally prepared to tell you that it smelled like laundry. However, a less hasty analysis showed me that there was actually quite a bit of lavender scent in there. Even more fabulously, the lavender smells really natural, as if you were whiffing a plant.
Overall Impression: This polish has one notable downside; it is easy to leave brushstrokes on your nails. Thus, it takes a little extra effort to ensure that your nails look nice in the end. Unless that sinks your ship, though, the color and scent and lovely and clean-feeling.

China Flower

Revlon Parfumerie China Flower Nail Swatch
Number of Coats Needed to Reach Opacity: 3
What's the Color?: This is another one of those "reds that think they are hot pink" shades.
What's the Scent?: This is another scent that is difficult to describe. It's very floral, but it doesn't smell like a particular flower. A "China Flower" sure as hell isn't a thing (and I'm not quite sure what the idea was with that name). To me, this polish gives the impression of a perfumed bath.
Overall Impression: This polish applied very evenly, even though it took more coats than I expected to reach opacity.

African Tea Rose

Revlon Parfumerie African Tea Rose Nail Swatch
Number of Coats Needed to Reach Opacity: 2
What's the Color?: This is a hot pink with just a hint of lavender iridescence.
What's the Scent?: This is a pure rose scent. If you love the smell of roses, you will love it.
Overall Impression: This is another polish where their naming is sort of confusing. A tea rose is a real thing, but they sure as hell aren't from Africa. Tea roses were hybridized in East Asia and further bred in France. I assume that the "African" in the shade name is to make the polish sound more exotic, which seems a bit problematic. It would be different if "African Tea Roses" and "China Flowers" were actual things. But, uh, they ain't.

The nail polish itself, though, is fabulous, with a great color and great smell. 

Autumn Spice

Revlon Parfumerie Autumn Spice Nail Swatch
Number of Coats Needed to Reach Opacity: 2
What's the Color?: This is a vampy brown shimmer.
What's the Scent?: This is the only scent where I have absolutely no idea what they were thinking when they named it. To me, "Autumn Spice" says cloves, cinnamon, mace, allspice, and nutmeg. This doesn't smell like any of those things. I actually get a coffee odor out of it. It's not a sophisticated coffee, but maybe if you made a candy out of coffee, it would smell something like this. This was a big bummer because I wanted my nails to smell like pumpkin pie.
Overall Impression: I didn't like the scent, so this was probably my least favorite of the polishes that I tried. However, the formula is fabulous and if you do enjoy the scent, I'm sure you'll love it. This is also a glitter that is really easy to remove.

Wild Violets

Revlon Parfumerie Wild Violets Nail Swatch
Number of Coats Needed to Reach Opacity: 2
What's the Color?: This is a dark purple with a little blue shimmer.
What's the Scent?: It smells like violets! No further explanation needed.
Overall Impression: It's a great color. It's a great scent. It's a great product.

I'm quite impressed with these enamels. I haven't noticed any decrease in wear time thanks to their scented nature, which is excellent. It's hard to tell exactly how long the scent lasts because it fades so gradually. At some point you will find yourself sniffing your nails and thinking, "Do I think my nails smell like mint because I know they are supposed to smell like mint? Or do they still smell, and it's just really subtle?" I would say that after 24 hours you will have substantial fading of the scent and after 48 hours, the odor will be completely gone. Happily, the scent lasts through both topcoats and your need to shower.

I also really dig the bottles; I think the little round top looks great. They look modern and expensive, despite their cheap price. If you are picky, though,  you may want to examine the bottles when you buy them, as there are clearly some bottle flaws that I didn't pay attention to when made my purchase (for an example, look at the shape of the part of the bottle containing my nail polish in China Flower. Crooked as fuck!). I don't care, but you might.

It is also worth noting that these polishes are slightly smaller than a traditional nail polish. Usually, nail polishes are 0.5 fluid ounces. These are 0.4. However, they may be slightly cheaper, depending on who you use as a benchmark. OPI and Essie will usually run you $8 for 0.5 fluid ounces ($16 per fluid ounce). For the Parfumerie collection, I paid $4.79 for 0.4 fluid ounces ($11.98 per fluid ounce). If you want to compare within-brand, though, they are pricer than other Revlon polishes.

I'm happy with these purchases and would strongly encourage anyone who isn't opposed to scented nail polishes on principle to check out this line. My top three, of the ones I have used, were Wintermint, African Tea Rose, and Wild Orchids. That said, I would recommend picking out a polish where both the color and the scent that is described are appealing to you, personally.

14 comments:

  1. Cool, I would never have picked any of those up if I hadn't read your review. As far as the names go, my guess is that they wanted to names to evoke both the scent and color in the names. For some (lavender) that's easy, but for instance "African tea Rose" is a color/scent hyrbid: just plain "tea rose" would probably bring to mind a soft pink rose - "African" alters that image to one of a much brighter hue. Same with China Flower - "Chinese" brings to mind a red color, "flower" makes you think "generic flowery scent" which was pretty close to your description.

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  2. I already picked up 6 of these polishes (including Lavender Soap, African Tea Rose, and Wild Violets) and I am very happy with them so far! I am currently wearing "Pink Pineapple" and the scent takes me straight to an island vacation.

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    1. I spend so much time sniffing my nails right now. I try to do it subtly, but I'm sure there are a few people who catch me and think, "What the fuck?"

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  3. Can you wear a top coat with these and still get scent? I will wreck my nails in an hour if I don't use a heavy duty top coat like Out the Door or Seche Vite. Seems like a fun idea, but I'm not up for repainting my nails in two days because I couldn't use a top coat.

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    1. Yup! I use Seche Vite and it doesn't seem to effect their smelliness.

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  4. Wintermint looks great! I hope we get these here in the UK, I just like those little bottles!

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  5. my blog partner did a review of the autumn spice, and she loved the scent. (she's weird though) I recently got Wild Violet, and I love it. FYI: If you add another coat of topcoat, you cut the lifespan of the scent by half.

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    Replies
    1. Different strokes for different folks!

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  6. I think you did a great job with your nails! :) I think the scent thing is going to vary wildly from person to person - for instance, I got cinnamon, gingerbread, and vanilla from the Autumn Spice one. I've been swatching all of them at my blog - I'd love for you to stop by and let me know what you think!

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  8. This was my first experience of buying online and the designer made it so easy. They kept me informed on every step of the way, and promptly responded to all my queries too.
    Gianni Bini

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