This doesn't smell bad, but you will smell like 50% of high school boys in my area lol. They spray the store with the stuff and if you walk in the store its like a punch to the face. Kind of annoying.
Fairly strong, especially in warmer weather (remember, Hollister is all about beaches and hot weather). Quite sweet and woody. Unfortunately, anyone who wears it will be compared to the store, which is hard to respond to (they spray this scent around the store to the point that you need a gas mask). But ladies, and guys for that matter, love the scent! A relaxed fragrance for those in high school or college!
My very first thought when I first tried SoCal was: "Christmas!", immediately - because of three things:
1. It smelled like pine needles.
2. It reminded me of Davidoff Cool Water Game which I received as a Christmas gift last year;
3. It was December already.
It's not a simple cologne by no means. It's fresh, but its freshness comes from cedar and pine. Then it's sweet but just in the right measure with pineapple, pear or I don't know what, this is the part that reminded me of Coll Water Game.
Then after a while an amber/vanilla accord comes on stage to surprise me completely. It's a complex scent with many faces, you could call it woody, fruity, almost oriental in the dry down.
(Dry down is actually the part that really surprised me with its almost gourmand presence, still accompanied by woods)
It evokes a beautiful picture of a beach with some clouds, driftwood on the shore, then a warm house with a view to the ocean. Not sporty, not cheap-smelling, it succeeds to be light and cozy at the same time. It's the type of perfume you would choose if you had to choose just one bottle for all places.
Hollister SoCal is definitely a fragrance for a younger man. Between the ages of 14 - 21. I would definitely recommend it to someone as their first ever cologne. I don't know what others thought when they first smelt this, but I got a strong scent of milk! Very sweet, almost sugary milk?! The projection doesn't last as long as I thought it would considering the Hollister Store wreaks of this stuff, they must have to re-spray the shop every 4 hours because that's how long it lasts! It's longevity isn't the best, I get around 4 - 6 hours maximum, as it almost disappears on your skin after a couple of hours. Probably suitable for a day at the beach or a summer party, might even be acceptable for a night on the town, but I wouldn't expect great compliments unless the girls you're talking to know about Hollister!
Just about gets a 3/5.
21st December, 2010 (last edited: 27th December, 2010)
A sweet musky scent with a slight woodsy twist. Like I said about Jake from Hollister, its way too popular to get noticed by a girl, or at least spark her interest as she has most certainly smelled it before. SoCal surprised me the first time I wore it as it was linear yet not linear. It actually has a quite nice dry down and a good medium range. Its a well balanced frag for a store brand. Great for middle-school/early high-school, after that you need to start branching out and stop buying frags from the stores you buy cloths.
All in all its a good "starter" cologne for the young crowed but nothing special.