It’s certainly been a while since I’ve written a review of a cologne, so it’s my absolute pleasure to bring to you today my review of Break Line, a men’s cologne by Hollister Co.
Hollister is owned by Abercrombie & Fitch, a company that has come under scrutiny lately for their discriminatory CEO. Since I manage to squeeze into their clothes, I don’t find myself boycotting them (although $40 for a T-shirt is definitely a problem…). For me their merchandise is hit or miss (the same piece available in the entire color spectrum with a stinkin’ logo? No thanks!), but for the most part their fragrances are a definite hit.
I received Break Line as a birthday present from my parents. My mom had been in the hospital that week, so the present-shopping fell to my brother and his girlfriend. I had previously told them I wanted Jake by Hollister, and I suppose they got the names mixed up and got me this one instead. Still, I love everything about this fragrance and that’s why I found it in my heart to forgive them.
***The following information applies to the 50 mL version***
Usually when I talk about the box a fragrance comes in I just describe it. With this one, though, I really get it. The box (pictured) is tall and made of the type of cardboard you might find at a grocery store – thick, brown, clumsy, and dusty. The bottom part has a dark blue sticker (you read that right) which reads PACIFIC MERCHANTS / HOLLISTER / CALIFORNIA / 1922 / BREAK LINE / EAU DE COLOGNE / 1.7 fl. oz. / 50 mL e. Until now, nothing special. But once you realize that the cutouts in the top part of the box form a lifeguard station for the surfer boy that forms the cap of the bottle it all comes together in a rustic, beach-y kinda way. I like it.
Now let’s have a look at the bottle (pictured). Out of all three Hollister colognes (Break Line, Jake, and So Cal) I like the bottle of this one the best. Since the bottle itself is a very basic box made of an extremely thick, clear glass, the cap is what makes this packaging interesting. It features a surfer-boy figurine, complete with swimming shorts, a surfboard, and rock-hard abs, standing upon a pedestal. The pedestal’s top part resembles sand, with the words HOLLISTER / PACIFIC MERCHANTS / 1922 on the rim. The cap is made of plastic, but is painted to look like weathered metal. Removed, the sprayer mechanism is revealed to be made of the same material. I was disappointed that the cap was not metal, since it is not a cheap product at all (used to retail for $60 CAD, now is $46 CAD). The liquid is a dark orange color, almost light brown. Like with Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male, I have doubts that any straight guy would have this bottle proudly displayed.
And now, drum roll please… ladies and gents, the smell! Right off the bat, let me tell you that this cologne takes no more than one spray to not only envelope you in a cloud of fragrance, but to also trigger a tidal wave that knocks people and houses and civilizations and planets over. Hollister’s website lists the notes of saltwater, mandarin, clary sage (if you, like me, have no idea what that is, click here), driftwood, and warm sand. Before I analyze it further, can we all just admit that none of us even knew ‘warm sand’ has a smell? I can definitely get the salty notes right away – it smells just like the edge of the ocean. A slight citrus smell follows, and the dry down is a bit briny, almost. Altogether, a pleasant if overwhelmingly strong cologne, perfect for winter. I wouldn’t wear this one on a day-to-day basic, mainly because I don’t think my friends would like that.
So that’s it! Let me know if you’ve tried Break Line, and what you think of it!