Recently I've read a posting of yours about how to read the minds of men... or perhaps it was about not bothering to read the minds of men. Likely, it was the latter. Anyway, your posting was in response to a woman who had been told that she smelled good by a man despite the fact that she was not trying to smell good. I suppose this posting begged me to respond as I may be one of the only male readers of your blog, and I have to say, I disagree with your preliminary analysis.
Thinking as a man who has used sample statements such as the phrase "You smell nice," I can tell you that is nearly always used as a lure. The same as "You look nice/great/pretty today," or "Your hair looks nice/awesome/sweet today". It is meant to see if the girl will bite at the compliment, repay the compliment, and just create a general awareness that there is some interest there. Men are trained to hide what they are thinking from everyone except for other men. In some cases, the more innocent the compliment, the more thought went behind it. So I have to disagree with you when you speculate that it is a man simply stating the facts. I would conjecture that men state facts out loud much more often when they DON'T like something and mostly keep the things they DO like to themselves, for example; "Dude, your farts smell like rotten cabbage and hard boiled eggs," or "That girl's voice annoys the hell out of me," with the exception to the rule being when something violent or competitive happens like "He just kicked him int he nuts! Awesome! OR when it promotes him in the current social hierarchy such as, "I can eat a whole pizza by myself!"
So I would have to say in an 85-15 split, in favor of a flirtation, that the woman who wrote you that message should wear some nice smelling things and maybe even some nice clothing in order to confirm the flirtation. The safe bet is that this guy will continue to compliment having an excuse now to compliment and thus more flirtation can continue and finally someone can sit down with the other someone and say, "My-oh-my you seem to have been taking a big interest in me. Should we have dinner sometime?"
But never forget that 15%.
I am constantly surprised by the letters sent to me by men. Why? I'm not sure. But you all consistently keep me on my toes. I guess that's good, as I would have nothing to write about otherwise. (So...good for blog, bad for personal life? Hmm.)
I'm preeeetty sure I told Rose that her coworker was likely flirting. I didn't suppose that he was just pointing things out. ("You are wearing green today! Your hair is brown! The sun is shining!") What Rose hopefully took away from my words was that this gentleman didn't mean the other things she feared--such as, "You smell good because you do not smell like a dumpster today and that is definitely a positive change." Guess you should read all the words before you shoot off an email, huh?
While it is nice to know that there are some brave men trudging their way through my posts, be careful not to disagree with me if you don't actually disagree with me. (This is one of those things that would likely start a fight in a relationship and then guess who gets to sleep on the couch? That'd be you.) You'll notice we both lean towards this being a sign of flirtation, although you seem to think my reader ought to step up her game for it to continue, whereas I would like to remind everyone that in nature, it is the male who typically shows off and struts about to impress the female. I'm just saying. Let's not give this coworker a free pass on anything. Men may appreciate a little extra effort, but they are not alone in that.