General Question

jca's avatar

If someone tells someone of the opposite sex that they smell nice, is that being flirtatious?

Asked by jca (35976points) July 23rd, 2012

Occasionally, if I like a man’s cologne I will tell him he smells nice. Is that being flirtatious? I don’t mean it to be, I mean it sincerely when I say it.

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37 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I don’t think so, otherwise I would have to believe that my doctor is always flirting with me.

gailcalled's avatar

If you are not flirting, then the receiver will receive that as well as the compliment.

Sunny2's avatar

Depends on how you say it. Flirting is kind of in the eye of the beholder. He may also take it to mean that he has too much on.

gailcalled's avatar

My best friend, a male gay, drove my car to Tanglewood last Sat. for a concert that I did not attend. The car still reeks of his cologne…some sort of heavy-duty pachouli. I will mention it.

Fyrius's avatar

I’d say that depends a lot on how close you and the other person are, and whether you’re generally that frank about that sort of thing.
I figure he might be wondering the same thing right now. It sounds like an unusual thing to say at least.

Fly's avatar

It can be, but it certainly doesn’t have to be flirtatious. It really all depends on how you say it and the relationship that you have already established with this person.

Shippy's avatar

No I think it is a nice compliment, how they read it is their problem.

gailcalled's avatar

I compliment my male and female friends with equal enthusiasm. I simply omit the flirting element.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I once went to a small, rural grocery store to pick up supplies and the cashier told me: “You smell exactly like my husband.” I had been cutting tree branches and burning brush and smelled like wood smoke, chain saw bar oil, two cycle exhaust and sweat. “He’s cleaning up our lot, too.”
I’m pretty sure it was not a compliment – or a flirt. (Darn it!)

I smell like Zest soap now in case anyone is interested.

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wundayatta's avatar

Flirtation is not one sentence only. It requires give and take. The person needs to respond in kind and then you need to respond and on and on. If the person takes it as flirtation, they will respond flirtatiously. You will have ample opportunity to shut it down.

Or to amp it up.

Assuming they even respond.

Judi's avatar

Some men, my husband included, will take any kind words as flirtatious if it comes from a pretty girl. That doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to act on it. With hubby, I just tell him, well, you are a good catch. that’s why I chose you.

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Crashsequence2012's avatar

Depends completely on the delivery. Period.

However, if it gets reported to Human Resources it instantly becomes flirtation, no matter what your true intentions.

Kardamom's avatar

Depends mostly upon the delivery, but there are some men who will think you are flirting with them if you say anything to them including: “Excuse me, is this the correct line for the flu shots?” or “Do you have the time?” or if you smile and say, “Hello” or “Morning Bob” even if it was simply meant to acknowledge their presence.

One of my close platonic straight male friends often wears a cologne that I find totally intoxicating. Sometimes I will tell him he smells fantastic. His usual reply is, “Beats the alternative!” I love that.

augustlan's avatar

Delivery is everything. There are definitely guys who will misread your intent, no matter how you deliver it, but that is on them. Just be yourself and compliment when you feel like it. :)

marinelife's avatar

I think it is just ordinary complimenting of another person.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Why does it have to be the opposite sex? Is it only people of the opposite sex that you compliment? Do you worry about women thinking you’re flirting with them when you compliment them? If not, then it’s no issue. If you’re not flirting, who cares what they think?

blueiiznh's avatar

It’s simply a compliment. Very similar to being told you have great hair or that they really like what you are wearing.

Some people however will let it go to their head.

stardust's avatar

Nope. If your intention is to pay a compliment and you do so in a non-flirtatious manner, then it’s not your problem if the person on the receiving end misinterprets

Pandora's avatar

@LuckyGuy Oh, I love it when people smell, zest fully clean. LOL
I say it to guys or girls. Especially if it draws me like a bee to honey. Then I try to get the name so I can buy it for myself or my husband.
Whenever I smell Drakkar Noir on my husband, I can’t concentrate on anything I’m doing. Now I feel like spraying him down with it. It smells so yummy on him.

ETpro's avatar

I’d just take it as a compliment to whatever scent I was wearing if I ever used cologne. But since I don’t, it would have much more personal implications if you said it to me. :-)

Adagio's avatar

@ETpro GA for not wearing aftershave

ETpro's avatar

@Adagio After what…?

jca's avatar

@ETpro: Sometimes I can smell a man’s deodorant and when it mixes with his natural scent, it’s just as nice as anything!

Crashsequence2012's avatar


A man has such better options when it comes to adding scent:

jca's avatar

@Crashsequence2012: When the man’s scent mixes with his deodorant, it’s nice.

rojo's avatar

I have wondered about this from time to time and when it has occurred I have erred on the side of caution and not said anything. Sad in some ways to feel that you cannot compliment a stranger with feeling that you might be overstepping the boundary.

blueiiznh's avatar

I think every jelly in this thread smells nice

wundayatta's avatar

That’s your computer that smells nice, @blueiiznh, not the people!

ETpro's avatar

@jca Let me clarify what I meant to tell @Adagio. I do not shave—I trim my beard close cropped. So no need for after shave. But other than sunblock when needed, I don’t apply any scent. I smell like me, period. I guess I’m blessed, because I don’t have a very strong body odor.

blueiiznh's avatar

@wundayatta nope, the nanosensors picked it up

mattbrowne's avatar

In Germany it would be. And you can’t do that in a business context.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Want constitutionally protected speech?

Germany isn’t one of your options.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Crashsequence2012 – I think you have no idea what you are talking about. Stop spreading lies. Vielleicht sollten Sie mal einen Blick ins GG Art. 5 Abs. 1 werfen Sie Schlauberger. The question was about flirting. In Germany you can tell everyone how you think they smell. Even in a business context you can tell everyone how you think they smell. No one will get arrested. But it would be considered flirtatious. And in a business context inappropriate.

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