This is basically a less intense, more tolerable version of King which is a cheapy fragrance. Same color juice, and all. King smells like old bar-b-que'd meat, onions, and a hair salon. California has an impressive sunny/orange/beach-like opening, but looses its promise quickly, and turns into a less intense version of King.
This fragrance is discontinued, and extremely rare.
Happy orange peels and musk, basking in a glorious sun! It's even darkly-colored enough to look like a little bottle of orange extract, much to my chagrin as a shirt-splasher. I'd say it's like a sweeter, calmer Drakkar Noir, or maybe Tuscany without the brisk herbiness. I can't decide which type of Californian it reminds me of more: the tanned 80s surfer dude in Manhattan Beach who was focused but too cool for school, or the cocksure day trader sitting in his skyrise office in Century City, waiting for the next big deal and the next big score with one of the secretaries. Ah, junk bonds and testosterone! But buyer, beware: I have a newer spray bottle, with a rounded rectangular design and blue cap, and it has been reformulated from the deodorant-stick-shaped silver-capped version to be less cigaretty and more sugary, which I think has largely ruined it.
I thought about this one long and hard but in the end, I decided to return it to the store. This is not to say it's without merits: it's a nice sunny fragrance; however, I felt it would be a better fit for an older gentleman (I'm 25). It just seems a bit weird for a recent colleage graduate such as myself. Someone had mentioned a comparison to Tuscany - I found Tuscany to be much more sophisticated. California has a one dimensional linear compisition whereas Tuscany is far more complicated.
California really surprised me. I was expecting a pleasant generic drugstore fragrance and what I got was a close clone of Green Irish Tweed by Creed. No kidding. It's stronger than GIT, and a little bit synthetic, but it's the closest thing to GIT I have ever smelled. The longevity is very good, as is the sillage. Nice and green. Very nice.
Dana Recreates Aramis Tuscany and Calls It California! - or almost. This is a delightful, sunny fragrance, very imitative of Tuscany -- almost a drugstore version, but with a slightly sour marine note. Anyhow it's pleasant and good. Fairly long lasting (as are most Dana fragrances) and very reasonable to buy.
I don't think the name is quite right for this, since it doesn't smell like California to me; Mojo by Gendarme smells *exactly* like California. This stuff is more exotic than California. Cozumel? Iquitos? Well no matter, you can make up a name for the admirers.