Smell my finger. No, seriously, smell it (get your mind out of the gutter!).
I know that sounds, well, downright weird. And it is…or so I thought, right up until Kathryn asked me to review the Revlon scented nail polish line. From that point on, fingertip smelling was THE thing to do. I smelled my own and even asked family members to take a whiff (shoutout: thanks, Mom!). But was all the fingernail inhalation worth the hype?
We tested eight of their several shades ($3.94 each at Wal-Mart), using Revlon’s instructions to 1) use a base coat and 2) apply two coats of the scented enamel, let dry and enjoy the fragrance. We’ve broken it down for you by color/scent, then saved the best (our yay or nay) for last. Read on to see if Revlon nailed it (c’mon, you knew we’d have to say that at one point).
Background: Across all eight colors/scents we tried, fragrance kicked in even prior to being fully dry. Within 20 seconds, the still-wet polish magically segued from that pungent chemical smell that ALL polishes have (yucko) to extraordinary pleasant fragrances (a change we definitely welcomed). Once the polish dried, the scent remained, as promised.
The average lasting time for any of these scents seemed to be about 24 hours (just think of how many people you see in the course of a day. Translation: that’s a lot of people who get the honor of smelling your Beach- or Raspberry Rapture-coated fingernail! (Not including your lovely self, of course). Beyond 24 hours, our nostrils were treated to only an extremely faded fragrance or none at all. Only one wonderful shade managed to stay unbelievably powerful for three full days (read on to find out which one).
As for color, the hues outlasted scent by a day with only slight, barely-detectable chips.
Here’s a closer look at the eight shades we tried.
Revlon’s Scented Nail Polish
Color: Light pink. We liked that its actual color was as soft and airy as the swirl of sugary bliss it was named after. Fun.
Scent: Mmmm-mmmm. Subtle sweetness graced our every fingertip.
Thoughts: A few folks guessed “cookie” or “something sweet” when we presented our fingertip for inhalation. This one was very delicate, yet powerful enough to bring back memories of boardwalks, festivals and good ol’ stadium ballgames. We couldn’t help but feel happy every time we lifted our pinkie near our noses, no matter how many times folks on the subway (or conference room or car in the next lane) looked at us somewhat strangely.
Color: Emerald Green. (Kidding, just felt like messing with you). Seriously though, cherry red.
Scent: This one reminded us of describing a fine wine (perhaps it was the French influence in the color’s name). it’s a delightfully fruity aroma that begins with an intense, bold edge and though it quickly finishes on a much lighter note, it never loses its captivating cherry essence.
Thoughts: Pretty much immediately after this one dried, its scent took us from “WOW, cherry!” to “wow, cherry!” Sure, it was like going from a whole bowl of cherries to just two in a matter of minutes, but the fragrance was still one we enjoyed.
Color: Icy, seafoam blue
Scent: We’re always fascinated with scents open to interpretation. Raspberry and cherry are obvious, but really, precisely what does an ocean breeze smell like? Depending on where you live, it could be either coconut dreaminess or landfill odors that waft your way. Hmmm. Not that we expected grossness to greet our nostrils with this particular polish—it just got us thinking. But we digress.
Thoughts: This fragrance was very crisp, almost like linens on the clothesline. It was however, quite overpowering in that concentrated laundry detergent way. Ocean breeze was a struggle for us–on one hand it was pleasantly perfumy, on the other hand, it was reminiscent of similarly-scented bathroom sprays. For that reason, this one was as enjoyable as it was vaguely disturbing.
Surprisingly, as strong and powerful as this one was, its scent faded the fastest of the eight we reviewed: within 12 hours, the fragrance breezed on by.
Color: Why raspberry, of course!
Scent: With such a dramatic word like “rapture” as part of its name, we knew this one was going to blow our minds. Did it?
No sooner was it on our nails when the craving to hit the grocery store’s fruit department kicked in. We could even download Prince’s Raspberry Beret for the ride there! Yes! Point is, we wanted raspberries and we wanted them now…all because of this amazing nail polish.
Thoughts: This smelled so incredibly good that a serious case of “mine, all mine” behavior kicked in; no one but the Wearer of the Rapture dare put their flared nostrils within five feet of our hands. You want your own? Go get it. (We say that with our nicest, most sincere smile. Ahem). Seriously, you’ll want to keep every bit of that raspberry rapture to yourself.
The best part of all? Our nails smelled like raspberry goodness for three days—yes, THREE FULL DAYS—after its first and only application. Heaven.
Color: A sunny orange/coral hue.
Scent: Orange Pop’s scent was as if we stuck our fingertips into a tub or orange Creamsicle ice cream and after a few minutes, they emerged as 10 perfectly-coated, perfectly-smelling nails (minus any numbness or stickiness one might experience if one chose to actually do something so insane).
Thoughts: This was an entire box of orange Creamsicle pops disguised as a bottle of nail polish. Definitely one to try.
Color: Light purple/lilac.
Scent: One look at the bright purple shade and we just knew it would be a head-turning, bold-smelling hue. Wrong.
Thoughts: What’s that they say about judging a book (or nail polish bottle) by its cover? While this color was very pretty, its shade was much, much lighter than expected, and it didn’t quite deliver in the scent department either. There was undoubtedly a grape scent, but like that of a very watered- down ice pop. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that grape either (hey, a little humor to lighten the mood).
Not so Blueberry
Color: Shimmery, silvery purple with an icy blue undertone.
Scent: So what’s the deal? The “not so” part of the name threw us off; would this be blueberry- scented or not-so-blueberry-scented? Would it be some kind of oddball surprise and end up smelling like sauerkraut or something?
Thoughts: Turns out, it had more of a very subtle grape(ish) scent than anything blueberry—more of what we expected from Grape Icy. We did like the cool, shimmery color a lot. But the scent?
Not so much.
Color: Light golden/sunny yellow.
Scent: Next to Raspberry Rapture, this one was a huge favorite of ours. Here we thought this might be a sister scent to Ocean Breeze—a fragrance open to interpretation that ultimately ends up being too powerful and in some ways, a bit unsettling. What a great surprise then, to be greeted by the wonderfully pleasant scent of suntan lotion. We absolutely love this.
Thoughts: A beach getaway was only a thumbnail-smell away. Stressed in a meeting? Smell the nail. Bored at a red light? Smell the nail. Beach, baby!
So…The Revlon Scented Nail Polish Line: Thumbs up or Down?
They Nailed It!
Overall, the scents are what they say they are, or at least are never so far off as to smell like asparagus when the promise is cherry. Plus, the whole experience adds an incredibly fun, unique touch to the otherwise ho-hum routine of applying nail polish…not to mention that it smells a heck of a lot better, too!
Sure, your boss may suspect you of an illegal habit what with your incessant pinky-to-nose finger movements and subsequent deep inhalations (or at least think you’re an Austin Powers’
Dr. Evil fan). You might start to feel like E.T., extending your finger out all the time for the world to see (and in this case, smell), but in the end, it’s no different than when we ladies purposely twirl a section of hair in our hand for the sole purpose of taking a whiff of its just-conditioned strands. It smells good…so you smell it. It just makes perfect (wait for it) scents.
Have you tried the Revlon Scented Nail Colors, or do you think you’d like to try them? Let us know what your favorites are (and if you liked Raspberry Rapture and Beach as much as we did)!