Ten places with distinct 'smells' and aromas you should visit

GRASSE, FRANCE

Many raw materials for the perfume industry are processed in the Provencal town of Grasse, home to companies such as Fragonard and Galimard. You can visit perfumeries and the International Perfume Museum, and create your own perfume at workshops. Surrounding flower fields that supply Dior are scented with violet, lavender and jasmine. The hilly medieval old town is lovely, filled with cafés and sweet-smelling orange trees. See grassetourisme.fr

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

The aromas wafting from restaurants, coffeehouses, street stalls and markets all attest to Istanbul's long history of spice trading, but you'll get your biggest hit inside the Egyptian Bazaar, part of the 1660s New Mosque complex. Sniff your way around sticky dates, olive pastes, sacks of herbs and spices, piles of honey pastries and jars of tea and rose oil. Whiffy goat's cheese is an unsweet intrusion. See howtoistanbul.com

GILROY, THE US

This Californian town calls itself the garlic capital of the world, and you'll smell garlic far across town, especially if you visit Olam Spices & Vegetable factory or Christopher Ranch. During the town's three-day Garlic Festival in July, you can enjoy all the garlicky food your breath can withstand, from the expected garlic fries and garlic bread to tastebud challenges such as garlic ice cream. See gilroygarlicfestival.com

MUSCAT, OMAN

The musky, earthy smell of frankincense is everywhere in Oman, and has been for thousands of years. The aromatic tree resin is harvested in the Dhofar Mountains of southern Oman and used in breath freshener, tea, medicines and insect repellents, as well as burned on braziers as a symbol of hospitality. Muscat's Mutrah Souk is ground zero for frankincense, its perfume drifting from every store. See experienceoman.om

MODENA, ITALY

Modena is famous for balsamic vinegar, which you'll encounter in Albinelli covered market drizzled over strawberries in a heady sweet-acid combination. Outside town, Acetaia Leonardi is one of the world's oldest vinegar producers, enveloped in the smell of slow-simmering grape juice. Young balsamic smells astringent, medium-aged vinegar more perky. The really old vinegar, stored in wooden barrels, provides seductive aromas of spice and syrupy sweetness. See visitmodena.it

KYOTO, JAPAN

Breathe deep and take notice when you visit Kyoto's Buddhist temples, which burn wood chips or incense sticks made from aromatic sandalwood or agar, to which cloves, star anise, cinnamon and other perfumes are added. Each temple has its own distinct scent, manufactured in Kyoto's traditional incense shops such as Hayashi Ryushodo. Original recipes are handed down over centuries and devotees associated particular temples with a particular scent. See kyoto.travel

KANNAUJ, INDIA

India's perfume capital has been making attar (oil-based perfumes) for centuries. The town on the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh is surrounded by rose, jasmine, rose, mint and lemongrass fields, with petals picked every morning and delivered to some 150 perfume distilleries, from which rich scents waft. Attar of roses from Kannauj is prized across the Middle East. A perfume park and museum is under construction. See kannauj.nic.in

ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND

Not all aromas are pleasant; certainly not the pervasive smell caused by volcanic gas that envelop you in Rotorua. At Wai-O-Tapu coloured pools each have their own particular reek produced by manganese, sulphur and iron, spritzed towards you on rising steam. The odour of sewers and rotten eggs will cling to your clothes afterwards as a reminder of this weird but wonderful burping volcanic landscape. See rotoruanz.com

MANCHESTER, UK

You'd expect great-smelling food in cities of the Indian subcontinent, but perhaps not in Manchester. Yet its aromas are rich and spicy, and Britons have often nominated chicken tikka masala as their favourite national dish. Curry Mile, nickname for Wilmslow Road, has more than 70 restaurants rich with the smell of Indian, South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, competing with the reek of shisha smoke from cafés. See visitmanchester.com

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ST LUCIA

This Caribbean island nation has seen a resurgence in its cocoa industry, with the heady smell of drying beans blowing from cocoa plantations, some of which have been in production since the 1700s. You can tour plantations and production facilities and create your own custom chocolate bar. An increasing number of spas incorporate cocoa in their treatments. Rich-smelling, traditional cocoa tea from a street vendor is another must. See stlucia.org

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