please advise

Ask Chris Black: Do You Have a Favorite Fragrance?

Photo: Aaron Bengochea

If you’re looking for the most powerful hair dryer or handiest chef’s knife, those things can be easy enough to find. Other objects of desire are a little more taste-based. What’s the next status water bottle or hand wash, for instance? Regular readers of the Strategist will know that we’ve previously turned to resident Cool Guy Chris Black (he’s a partner at brand consultancy Public Announcement) to help us answer both of those questions. For more of Chris’s advice, he’s now answering reader questions for us in a regular column. If you have a burning question about the next fanny pack or Noah rugby shirt, drop us an email with the subject line “Ask Chris” at

You’ve told us about what you use to make your home smell good, but what about what you use to make yourself smell good? Any favorite lotions, oils, scents?

Unfortunately for you, I don’t use any Tom Ford body oil (YET!). I take my scents seriously, though; it’s a simple way to feel confident and make an excellent first impression.

For the last few years, I have worn Comme des Garçons Wonderwood, and I get compliments on it often. It’s relatively affordable and easy to find. They describe it as “elegant, masculine, and sensual” — who doesn’t want that?!

I also love Sunday Cologne from Strategist-approved Byredo. It’s citrusy, mellow, and poised (much like myself). Also, don’t forget the Byredo Vetyver bar soap. Your hands should smell good too!

Kiehl’s Musk is a sleeper classic for both men and women (designer Jenni Kayne is also a fan). It can be overwhelming — the bergamot nectar and orange-blossom top notes hit HARD — but I love it in winter.

And a little secret is the original Aesop spray-on deodorant, which smells incredible and mixes well with almost everything. Layering isn’t just for clothes!

We got the lowdown on the best white T-shirts, but what about the best button-down shirts? What are some options that, like a good white tee, will keep me comfortable but looking classy?

The simple Oxford button-down shirt is a wardrobe staple. As a basic, southern-born white male, I, of course, own several. I often wear a beat-up light-blue one from Uniqlo that I have had for eight-plus years. I have even had it repaired, which is insane since it costs like $30. Anyway, like all classics, there are levels to this shit! You can cop at any price point your heart desires.

If you want to go a step up from Uniqlo, you cannot go wrong with Brooks Brothers. The Regent Fit Oxford Sport Shirt (which is also available in light blue) is heavy-