Polish and Perfume

Nail polish, you guys! I am all about the nail polish these days. It is pretty and sparkly and turns me into a 12 year old. (I didn’t wear nail polish as an actual 12 year old, probably because I was a Very Serious Intellectual at that age.) It just felt right to dedicate a post to my new beauty passion, so today I’ve matched up some of my favorite new nail polishes with complementary perfumes!

Butter London Knees Up · Guerlain Shalimar


You can’t quite tell from my cringeworthy photography (nail polish bloggers are frigging heroes, you guys), but Knees Up (ugh) is an all-out glamorous ruby. All that sparkle called for the legendary Shalimar’s star quality.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Pool Boy · Estee Lauder Azuree Soleil


With that name and that color, Pool Boy is just begging to be matched with an aquatic fragrance, but I don’t have any! So I chose Azuree Soleil, my bluest and most beachy perfume.

Illamasqua Raindrops · Guerlain Apres l’Ondee


How could I not pair up these two rain-themed bottles? Raindrops is a totally boring grey indoors, but its silver flecks come alive in direct sunlight.

Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday · Lolita Lempicka EDP


The multi-colored glitter of Happy Birthday called for the most vivacious perfume in my collection, the playfully anisic Lolita Lempicka.

Butter London All Hail McQueen · Chanel Les Exclusifs 28 La Pausa


Sparkly mocha All Hail McQueen (recently rechristened as the significantly more boring “All Hail The Queen”) is the only neutral in my nail polish collection. The obvious perfume pairing was 28 La Pausa, which feels appropriate for any situation.

Urban Decay Vice · Gorilla Perfumes The Smell of Weather Turning


Something about the green and silver flecks in Vice reminded me of the interplay between mint and nettle in The Smell of Weather Turning. With its spooky forest vibe, Ormonde Jayne was a close runner-up, but I only have a (less photogenic) decant.

What are some of your favorite nail polishes, and which perfumes would you pair them with?

Disclaimer: I purchased every single one of these nail polishes, much to my perfume budget’s despair. None of the brands in this post have ever offered me free products or contacted me in any way. But they totally should! CALL ME BUTTER LONDON

25 thoughts on “Polish and Perfume

  1. This is a clever idea! The only perfume I’ve tried on this list is Shalimar, and a sparkly red is Shalimar all the way. Polish bloggers ARE heroes, but your pictures are just dandy!

  2. I’ve been wearing OPI Purple with a Purpose (I think that’s the name anyway).. I hadn’t really thought about nail color/perfume pairings, but I’m thinking it wants some tuberose, like maybe Loretta or Poison or something like that.

    I also have a metallic burgundy color..pretty sure it’s Sally Hansen or whatever that I got at Target.. I don’t know the name of the color… I think it would fit with Ylang 49 or Agent Provocateur.

    1. Just looked up Purple With A Purpose- what a gorgeous color! I still haven’t tried Ylang 49, and I really need to after all of the stellar reviews.

    1. Shut up! I have Pool Boy on MY toes! Toe twins! 😀 I haven’t tried Boudoir Sin Garden yet, I’ve never seen Vivienne Westwood fragrances around here.

  3. Like everyone else in the universe, seemingly, I’ve been really obsessed with nail polish lately. Mostly Julep because I signed up for their box program. I don’t know that I have any clever pairings to suggest, but I like the ones you came up with. 🙂 Hope you’re well Ari – I’ve been rooting for your job search!

    1. Thank you so much, Susan! Julep always catches my eye at Sephora, but I usually end up buying Nails Inc instead since it’s only $9. What’s the best color you’ve gotten through your subscription?

      1. Julep is overpriced. I think it’s only worth it if you do the boxes – in general, I’m more thrilled with Zoya’s formula than Julep’s. But the Julep boxes are fun, especially with the products they add in, some of which have been really good.

        That said, there have been some really fabulous Julep nail colors since I joined up. I really like Jackie (bright bright bright cherry red, applies like a dream: http://www.julep.com/jackie.html) and Zelda, a pinky gold metallic (http://www.julep.com/shop/nail-color/core-colors/zelda.html). Oh, and their Freedom Polymer Top Coat is my favorite top coat of all time.

  4. Illamasqua Baptiste on my toes right now. I’m thinking it would go well with Lalique’s Amethyst (to use a totally unimaginative combo).

    I’m currently coveting The Lace is On! and Cashmere Bathrobe from the latest Essie collection. Prada Candy would fit The Lace is On! I think.
    Cashmere Bathrobe, I’ll admit, I only want for the name, although it sounds like the most uncomfortable thing ever. People tell you cashmere is super soft, and THEY ARE LYING. However, if I ignore the obvious DK Cashmere Mist pairing, I’m going with Atelier’s Vanille Insensee to match it.

    1. Whoooa, I just looked up Cashmere Bathrobe and that is a GREAT color. And I like the choice of Vanille Insensee to go with it!

  5. I love buying nail polishes. But then Ialmost never wear them so even mentally I cannot pair them with any perfumes. But I have one nail polish worth mentioning: Dior Waterlily scented nail polish. It’s green and it smells of roses once dried on your nails.

  6. I’m generally pretty conservative in my nail polish color choices, but I’m lovin’ that Happy Birthday! (And I do own a bottle of emerald-green polish).

    Right now I’m wearing a Swiss brand called Mavala (non-toxic ingredients, very nice quality and lasting power) in a neutral pinky-mauve called Velvet, which is a nice color for everyday. To match its “appropriate for anytime” quality, I’d pair it with Cristalle EDP.

  7. Uh-oh.

    I thought it was just me. After years of never wearing polish (i don’t have pretty hands, and my nails are generally bendy and weak), I just said THE HECK WITH IT, I want to wear it . The CEO is sort of appalled.

    Favoritest color of the week? Essie Go Overboard. Not conservative. I love it. I’m wearing it now, with a teeny raggedy edge of some cheapo silver glitter polish juuuust across the tips. Paired with… Jolie Madame parfum.

      1. This week it’s NK Charcoal Navy. Really gorgeous. CEO hates that one too… don’t care. (Bookworm went off to college wearing royal purple on her toes. I told her she needs some Yale blue polish, and also confirmed that if she steals my Charcoal Navy she’s in deep doodoo with me!)

        L’Arte di Gucci today.

    1. My wonderful ex’s wonderful grandmother gave me her old bottle! But before you get too jealous, it’s an EDP mini, not the parfum.

  8. So I’m officially joining in the nail polish kick, I think. I was in Sephora today, and they had their Sephora by OPI nail colors on sale 3 for $10 so I couldn’t resist. I already have 2 of those (Mermaid to Order – a metallic turquoise that is kind of like the tail of every toy mermaid you’ve ever seen in your life… I love it.. and a really dark, almost-black purple with subtle glitter called Just a Little Dangerous). They would go with TokyoMilk Marine Sel and PG Cuir Venenum, respectively. 🙂

    Because buying 3 new nail polishes was something I totally did not need to do, I did it anyway. Because 3 for $10.

    So I ended up with a gold color called Charge It!, a reddish brown metallic called Living in Cin-namon, and a turquoise glittery one called I’m So Sari. The gold was a little bit of a departure for me because I don’t usually go for light colors, but I just put it on my toes, and I kinda like it. I was mostly trying to find something different from my usual metallic reds. I kept eyeing the ones in the store, but I had to keep reminding myself that they were probably just like ones I already had. On my fingers I’m being a little experimental and putting the gold and the turquoise glitter together. Not sure I’m doing it particularly well but the color combo is nice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.