For better or worse, strong smells tend to grab our attention. The air hanging over a bakery can make us hungry, and the atmosphere around a locker room can make us question our dedication to fitness. The typical nose can discern about 10,000 different scents; clearly, we're wired to sniff our way through life.
Many people think that smells even have the power to shape health. They light vanilla candles, burn jasmine incense and pour lavender into their baths in search of relaxation, stress reduction and protection against illness.