Wood/Wood floor question

I have a question about wood floors and possibly just wood in general.
A few years ago I developed a weird allergy/sensitivity to being around certain wood floor homes or establishments with lots of wood fixtures.
I notice it most intensely when there is a sweet smell, kind of like older wood or something (possibly mildew) The kind of smell I notice in old churches or other old establishments. I also notice the issue when there is a strong natural wood smell like in a cabin or something.
I'm wondering if anyone could tell me what this could possibly be causing the sweet smelling odor and if wood is giving off a strong natural wood smell in a home is it possible to lock it in with a type of finish.
I think I'm currently dealing with a mixture of both odors in the apartment I just moved into. I'm thinking of laying some kind of finish on the floor to possibly lock in the wood smell and getting a air purifier that gets mold out of the air (considering the problems are what I'm assuming they are).
I appreciate any input on the subject.
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On Sun, 2 Mar 2008 23:27:34 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

This sounds more like a dust/mold allergy than anything else. Shellac is a good wood sealer/finish. For sealing a floor polyurethane is a better choice. A doctor that specializes in allergies may be able to help you.
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The first things I would do in your shoes is to contact a company that does air quality analysis. They will measure the space in your apartment for such things as mold spores, etc. You're guessing at everything right now, and you're considering sealing floors based on guess work. Not a very good approach. The other thing I'd do - even if an analysis shows wood related mold spores, is to contact the landlord before applying any sealants to his property. You don't have any rights as a tenant to just start sealing floors without approval.
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-Mike-
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