Cologne

5 Best Hollister Colognes (and 2 to avoid) in 2023

Like their apparel, Hollister colognes appeal to a laid-back Californian lifestyle. They’re all about hanging by the beach under clear blue skies in the never-ending summer.

It shows in their tropical, aquatic colognes. They’re all summer colognes made with sunshine and surf at the front of the mind. 

My favorite Hollister cologne is Jake. It’s slightly more masculine compared to the other Hollister fragrances, with a deeper woodsy base. It has a touch more maturity – and would be a great confidence boost for an evening summer date.

However, if I was just hanging at the beach in the midday sun, I’d want something super breezy and light like Wave. It’s the freshest Hollister cologne, with an aquatic Bamboo opening and a soapy dry down. You’ll smell incredibly clean while wearing this relaxing scent.

Best for Summer
Top Pick
Longest-lasting
4.8
4.8
4.5
$39.99
$37.97$34.86 ($20.51 / Fl Oz)
$39.95 ($11.75 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • Clean and breezy fragrance perfect for summer sunshine.
  • Light citrus coupled with breezy bamboo for ultimate refreshment.
Pros:
  • The most popular Hollister cologne. Perfect for younger Gents looking for casual confidence.
  • A crowd-pleasing fresh cologne with enough depth in the base to still feel masculine.
Pros:
  • A soft, sweet and aquatic fragrance perfect for relaxing with friends.
  • Lasts for a staggering 9 hours - very impressive for the budget price.
Best for Summer
4.8
$39.99
Pros:
  • Clean and breezy fragrance perfect for summer sunshine.
  • Light citrus coupled with breezy bamboo for ultimate refreshment.
Top Pick
4.8
$37.97$34.86 ($20.51 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • The most popular Hollister cologne. Perfect for younger Gents looking for casual confidence.
  • A crowd-pleasing fresh cologne with enough depth in the base to still feel masculine.
Longest-lasting
4.5
$39.95 ($11.75 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • A soft, sweet and aquatic fragrance perfect for relaxing with friends.
  • Lasts for a staggering 9 hours - very impressive for the budget price.
02/01/2023 11:26 am GMT

Elsewhere, you can explore expressions of iconic summer notes, like the sweet pineapple of Festival Vibes or the creamy coconut in SoCal.

Whichever Hollister cologne you choose, one thing is for sure – they tend to punch above their weight in terms of price versus quality.

I’ll step you through the 5 Hollister colognes that I’ve enjoyed the most, and let you know when and where to deploy them, based on:

  • Note profile (what does it smell like)
  • Longevity (how long does it last)
  • Projection (how subtle/strong is it)
  • Value for money
  • Occasion (season, time of day, setting)

I’ve also made a note of 2 that I found a little underwhelming – so make sure you check that before you buy.

TOP PICKS

Best Hollister Colognes for Guys

Jake – Most Popular Hollister Cologne

Wave – Best Hollister Cologne for Summer

Festival Vibes – Best Hollister Cologne for Value for Signature Fragrance

Free Wave – Best Hollister Cologne for Year-round Freshness

SoCal – The Original Hollister Cologne

Coastline – Best Hollister Fragrance for Confidence

And two to avoid…

Festival Nite – A Little Generic…

Wave 2 – Overly Sweet and a Little Confused


Best Hollister Colognes Ranked

Hollister Jake – Most Popular Hollister Cologne

Compared to fresh and clean summer fragrances in this list, Jake has more depth and maturity. I could see Jake suiting younger Gents looking for a confidence boost, projecting sexy masculinity appropriate for men through their 20s and early 30s.

Hollister Jake Hollister Jake
$37.97 $34.86 ($20.51 / Fl Oz)

The most popular Hollister cologne. Perfect for younger Gents looking for casual confidence.

A crowd-pleasing fresh cologne with enough depth in the base to still feel masculine.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 11:13 am GMT

This spiced, woody scent is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. It’s fresh and oceanic in the top notes, but still rugged and masculine in the base. 

The opening is a dash of sharp, zingy citrus – like a twist of lime in soda water. It’s energizing and invigorating and screams sunshine. But underneath it all, you have got a rugged and earthy undertone of beach driftwood.

It’s simple but effective. Perfect for casual days out with friends or as a gym scent. 

Jake kicks out scent strongly for the first few hours and sticks around more intimately after that. You’re looking at 6 – 7 hours of fragrance overall, which is plenty for a budget cologne.

Jake is one of those fragrances that would be considered a masterpiece if it had been produced by a niche, trendy brand – for the price, this is an unbelievable offering.

Top Notes:Lemon, Lime and Sea Notes
Middle Notes:Patchouli, Amber
Base NotesBriarwood, White Musk, Tonka Bean
Jake By Hollister- Fragrance Notes

Hollister Wave – Best Hollister Cologne for Summer

Another fragrance for summer, Wave is an easy-wearing cologne destined for the coast. It’s a fresh, zesty, and vibrant blend for a Gent in his early to mid-twenties.

Hollister Wave Hollister Wave
$39.99

Clean and breezy fragrance perfect for summer sunshine.

Light citrus coupled with breezy bamboo for ultimate refreshment.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 11:26 am GMT

It’s youthful and fun-loving, but not juvenile by any stretch. Think “white t-shirt and shorts” sort of vibe- but the guy is a chiseled surfer.

It’s informal, perfect for everyday wear or casual events, day or night. Not a seductive scent, but sure to collect compliments across the board regardless. 

The start is a fairly unique note of bamboo, followed by a pleasant soapy dry down with shades of neroli. There’s citrus here, but it’s not sharp. 

The whole process is smooth and relaxing. Wave is all about easy-breezy good times -and keeps things relatively simple

These top notes last throughout the lifetime of the fragrance. It’s linear, rather than evolving. There’s wood in the base, but Wave doesn’t just degenerate into a generic woody musk-like plenty of other men’s perfumes.

It maintains its freshness throughout, remaining energetic throughout its 6-hour lifetime. The projection is decent but non-intrusive. This is a subtle, and pleasant fragrance that gets noticed but won’t knock anyone’s head off.

Top Notes:Bamboo Leaf, Grapefruit and Yuzu
Middle Notes:Lavender, Cypress and Neroli
Base NotesSalt, Driftwood, Tonka Bean and Musk
Wave By Hollister- Fragrance Notes

Hollister Festival Vibes- Best Hollister Cologne for Value for Signature Fragrance

Festival Vibes is a sweet and aquatic fragrance, opening up with fresh sea notes and pineapple. It’s super creamy and soft, and wearing it feels like sitting on a cloud.

Hollister Festival Vibes Hollister Festival Vibes
$39.95 ($11.75 / Fl Oz)

A soft, sweet and aquatic fragrance perfect for relaxing with friends.

Lasts for a staggering 9 hours - very impressive for the budget price.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 11:36 am GMT

The clue is in the name. Festival Vibes is about kicking back and relaxing, spending time with friends, and feeling great.

It’s for a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously but wants to let people know he looks after himself. He’s probably the group leader, deciding which bands to see and making sure everyone is having a good time. 

The pineapple feels like a nod to Aventus by Creed. It’s an under-utilized favorite note of mine and I’m glad to see an affordable, quality representation of it here. I love niche notes like these, and it makes Festival Vibes a real option as a signature fragrance.

There’s also a slight caramel note that balances out the woody birch in the base nicely.

Aquatic fragrances aren’t known for their performance, but I was impressed by the lifetime of Festival Vibes. This stuff just lasts and lasts and lasts. You’ll get 8-9 hours, no problem.

This smooth and delightful cologne is incredible for the price. 

Top Notes:Sea Notes, Pineapple and Birch Leaf
Middle Notes:Green Notes, Ginger, Bay Leaf and Woody Notes
Base NotesTonka Bean, Amber and Oakmoss
Festival Vibes By Hollister- Fragrance Notes

Hollister Free Wave – Best Hollister Cologne for Year-round Freshness

Compared to Hollister Wave, Free Wave is a little more suited to year-round wear. It has a stronger woodsy base that gives it some legs in colder weather.

Hollister Free Wave Hollister Free Wave
$35.58 ($10.46 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 10:55 am GMT

There’s also the addition of a tangy ginger note that gives a spiced quality. It’s not overpowering, but it’s definitely central.

You’re still getting blue freshness, but it’s got a soapier, shower gel quality compared to the marine notes of the original. If Wave is for beach-side chilling, Free Wave is the pick for the bar afterward as the sun starts to set.

Longevity and projection are pretty impressive, too. Just a couple of sprays will keep you emitting nicely all night. Even though Free Wave is marketed as an Eau de Toilette, I’d have guessed it was an Eau de Parfum. 

If push came to shove I would still choose to pick up a bottle of the original Hollister Wave, but Free Wave is a capable alternative – particularly if you’re a fan of ginger in particular.

Top Notes:Ginger, Lime and Pink Pepper
Middle Notes:Moss and White Iris
Base Notes:Driftwood, Cedar and Ambergris
Free Wave Fragrance Notes

Hollister SoCal – The Original Hollister Cologne

Hollister SoCal is the perfect summer cologne for a beach day. It reminds me of a hot and relaxed afternoon of basking in the sun with friends. It’s laid-back, tropical, and spells fun and freedom.

Hollister SoCal Hollister SoCal
$49.99 $43.69 ($12.85 / Fl Oz)

Creamy-sweet coconut on a base of masculine woods and musks.

Excellent value with 6 hours of longevity.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 01:12 pm GMT

Everyone seems to love it- especially girls. This sweet, creamy, woody blend is a hit and collects compliments wherever I go.

It’s the sort of fragrance you’d wear to a beach date to project rugged sexiness and sunshine confidence. SoCal speaks to masculinity that isn’t aggressive, but still knows how to handle itself.

The scent opens with a blast of coconut and melon. These watery sweet notes are delicious, and let you know this is an easy-going fragrance right from the jump. There’s also a touch of citrus in the top notes that I can’t quite place- but it’s either lemon or lime. 

As SoCal dries down, I get vanilla sweetness mixed with a coniferous pine. The more vibrant green tones help keep things energetic, while vanilla adds a touch of class.

However, the real fun for me is in the base of the fragrance. There’s a deep and earthy scent of dried driftwood, heated by the summer sun.

It’s sexy, woody, and aromatic.

The combination of rugged driftwood with that decadent vanilla accord offers just the right amount of sweetness. It balances the blend in a way that’s both musky and sensual. 

It’s my favorite part of SoCal for sure, and it sticks around. Even though the opening tropical notes dissipate within a couple of hours, you’ll get a full day of creamy woodiness from the persistent base.

Top Notes:Melon, Coconut, Lemon and Lime
Middle Notes:Pine, Cedar and Vanilla Bean
Base NotesDriftwood and White Musk
SoCal By Hollister- Fragrance Notes

Hollister Coastline – Best Hollister Fragrance for Confidence

This bold and confident cologne is for the type of Gent who walks into a room and plans on grabbing the attention of everyone around him.

Hollister Coastline Hollister Coastline
$36.18 $33.91 ($19.95 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 11:16 am GMT

Coastline has a distinctive sage note that separates it from the pack and projects a mature brand of masculine confidence. When the earthy sage couples with sweet and fruity mandarin in the top notes, the results are divine. 

It’s for the sort of man who has got his act together, and achieved some success – but is still innovative and thinking outside the box. 

This spicy-sweet fragrance is daring and fresh. I sprayed it at 8 pm before I went out and I could still smell the base woods notes on myself the next morning. 

The potent age accord is really what drives the train. I think that without it, Coastline could come off as a generic fruity, woody scent. But then again, “if ifs and buts were beer and nuts, life would be a grand old party”.

It’s strikingly similar to the note used in Abercrombie and Fitch’s Fierce- another solid fragrance- but the Hollister offer is lighter and brighter. 

Top Notes:Sweet Mandarin, Cardamom, Sea Notes and Fir
Middle Notes:Rosemary, Jasmine, Sage and Rose
Base NotesOakmoss, Vetiver, Musk, Rosewood and Sandalwood
Coastline By Hollister- Fragrance Notes

And Two Hollister Colognes I Would Skip…

Hollister Festival Nite – A Little Generic…

Festival Nite is a relatively smooth and sweet fragrance that reminds me of Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million. It’s a fine pick for younger gents who want something light and sweet – but, for me, it’s nothing special.

Hollister Festival Nite Hollister Festival Nite
$45.95 $14.81 ($4.36 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 11:33 am GMT

I just can’t help but feel like this fragrance is missing something, like a stand-out note. It’s a little too generic for me. Just softly sweet with a spiced woodsy base. For a budget cologne, it’s pleasant enough – but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd enough for me.

The sweetness makes me think it would be a little too cloying to wear in high heat, and the subtle touch of warm spice in the dry down would have me leaning more toward coolers nights as the name suggests.

An impressive longevity of 6 – 7 hours means Festival Nite will carry you through a day at college or a night at the bar. Just be aware that while it isn’t going to offend anyone, it probably won’t impress them either.

Top Notes:Apple, Bergamot and Mandarin Leaf
Middle Notes:Ambroxan, Ginger and Black Pepper
Base Notes:Tonka Bean, Sandalwood and Musk
Fragrance Notes Festival Nite

Hollister Wave 2 – Overly Sweet and a Little Confused

Sometimes, you should skip the sequel. Unfortunately, I found Wave 2 a little disappointing compared to the original.

Hollister Wave 2 Hollister Wave 2
$31.21 $28.27 ($8.31 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 11:25 am GMT

First up, the opening. It’s very sweet, to the point of coming off a little synthetic. The fruitness in the opening is sharp and overboard to the point of being offputting.

It does dry down into a more palatable, masculine muskiness – but even that is a little generic for me. There’s no edge here – a summer freshy should feel energizing, but Wave 2 just smells a little flat.

Wave 2 is a denser and more confused version of its predecessor that isn’t sure whether it’s a summer cologne or a manly musk bomb – and sort of fails to achieve either in the process.

It reminds me a little of an overly sweet Nautica Blue, but with none of the breezy aquatics. 

Despite being overly powerful for the first 20 minutes, it clings to the skin pretty much the whole time after that. Not good enough for me when there are plenty of other great options from Hollister – I’d much prefer the original Wave.

Top Notes:Ozonic notes, Bergamot and White Pepper
Middle Notes:Geranium, Lavender and Sage
Base Notes:Musk, Woody Notes and Sandalwood
Wave 2 Fragrance Notes

What You Should Know About the Best Men’s Hollister Colognes

Is Hollister cologne good?

Hollister cologne is very good for this price range. While plenty of budget colognes either smell pretty synthetic or don’t last very long, the best Hollister fragrances are natural-smelling and long-lasting.

Some of my favorites, like Jake and Wave, smell as though they could cost 2 or 3 times as much as they actually were, and comfortably compete with mid-range brands like Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss for me.

Just be aware that not all Hollister scents are created equal. Wave 2, for example, is a pretty underwhelming fragrance that is overly sweet, and doesn’t project very well at all.

Which Hollister cologne smells best?

The best-smelling Hollister cologne is either Jake or Wave, depending on what you’re looking for.

Jake is the most popular Hollister cologne. This well-balanced blend of citrus, woods, and spices is perfect for impressing girls.

Wave is a personal favorite of mine that is best for summertime. This fresh aquatic fragrance is very refreshing on hot days, with a bamboo opening and a soapy-clean drydown.

How long does Hollister cologne last?

Hollister colognes last for between 4 and 7 hours on average. The longest-lasting Hollister colognes are from the Festival range, with Festival Vibes and Festival Night clocking 9 and 7 hours respectively – enough to carry you for a whole day of scent.

On the other end of the spectrum, make sure you avoid Wave 2 if longevity is a primary concern. I could barely smell it after the first half hour.

How much does Hollister cologne cost?

Most Hollister colognes retail for between $20 – $30 per 1.7 fl oz, or $30 and $50 for a 3.4 fl oz bottle.

The cheapest Hollister cologne (that’s still worth buying) is Festival Nite, which you can find on Amazon for an astonishingly cheap $15 per 3.4 fl oz. Most colognes at that price are not even worth owning, but Festival Nite is a perfectly serviceable (if a little generic) soft and sweet pick for younger Gents.

Which Hollister cologne has a surfer on top?

The Hollister cologne with a surfer on top is Break Line.

Despite its discontinuation back, people are still trying to get hold of this aquatic citrus fragrance – and often tend to remember the bottle design more than they do the name

I can’t work out why Hollister canned this frag. It was a real favourite amongst the community, but it doesn’t look to be coming back any time soon.

You can pick up half bottles here and there on eBay, but they tend to go for inflated prices that I can’t personally justify.

What cologne does Hollister spray in their store?

According to employee posts on Reddit, Hollister sprays Socal in their stores. This laid-back, coconut and creamy woodsy fragrance adds a soothing element to the Hollister retail experience, and really suits the image the brand tries to project.


Best for Summer
Top Pick
Longest-lasting
4.8
4.8
4.5
$39.99
$37.97$34.86 ($20.51 / Fl Oz)
$39.95 ($11.75 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • Clean and breezy fragrance perfect for summer sunshine.
  • Light citrus coupled with breezy bamboo for ultimate refreshment.
Pros:
  • The most popular Hollister cologne. Perfect for younger Gents looking for casual confidence.
  • A crowd-pleasing fresh cologne with enough depth in the base to still feel masculine.
Pros:
  • A soft, sweet and aquatic fragrance perfect for relaxing with friends.
  • Lasts for a staggering 9 hours - very impressive for the budget price.
Best for Summer
4.8
$39.99
Pros:
  • Clean and breezy fragrance perfect for summer sunshine.
  • Light citrus coupled with breezy bamboo for ultimate refreshment.
Top Pick
4.8
$37.97$34.86 ($20.51 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • The most popular Hollister cologne. Perfect for younger Gents looking for casual confidence.
  • A crowd-pleasing fresh cologne with enough depth in the base to still feel masculine.
Longest-lasting
4.5
$39.95 ($11.75 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • A soft, sweet and aquatic fragrance perfect for relaxing with friends.
  • Lasts for a staggering 9 hours - very impressive for the budget price.
02/01/2023 11:26 am GMT

FAQ About the Best Hollister Fragrances for Men

What is the most popular Hollister cologne?

SoCal is the cologne most synonymous with Hollister as a brand. It’s the scent they pump out in their stores and is the cologne they’ve been producing for the longest (since 2007!). 

However, I have little insider knowledge. A friend of mine who works at Hollister told me that the cologne she sold most of was Jake.

People would come in just to buy Jake, while SoCal was usually sold as an add-on to people browsing for clothes or accessories.

What do Hollister Colognes Smell Like

Hollister colognes tend to lean fairly summer-heavy, with tropical notes of fruit and coconut on a light, woodsy base. They appeal to a Californian beach lifestyle and outlook. So, if you’re looking for something deep and brooding, you’re in the wrong place. 

Who makes Hollister Men’s colognes?

Hollister colognes are produced in collaboration with world-renowned noses, which would explain their quality.

They offer blends designed by master perfumers such as Gino Pecontino and Steve DeMercado- who have worked on some of the best Guess colognes.


Wait- isn’t Hollister a Surf Brand?

Hollister is tied to a culture of beach life and surfing. They don’t focus on surfing itself, but more on the social scene and community built around it.

You can 100% wear their products if you don’t do watersports without feeling like an imposter. 


So What Now?

I was so impressed by the quality of Hollister fragrance, considering their budget-mid price point.

As far as entry-level summer fragrances go, you won’t find better.

I’ve included links to the best prices I could find for my favorites- and I think they’re a great place to start. There are 39 Hollister fragrances in total, so plenty to explore once you’ve tried a few of the classics.

Grab a bottle today and start enjoying that sweet sunshine lifestyle.

If you enjoyed learning about the best Hollister colognes, check out some more budget brands that smell designer:

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