For nearly all life forms, perceptual systems provide access to a host of environmental cues, including the availability of food and mates as well as the presence of disease and predators. Presumably, individuals use this information to assess the current and future states of the environment and to enact appropriate developmental, behavioral, and regulatory decisions. Recent work using the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, and the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has established that aging is subject to modulation through neurosensory systems and that this regulation is evolutionarily conserved. To date, sensory manipulations shown to impact Drosophila aging have involved general loss of function or manipulation of complex stimuli. We therefore know little about the specific inputs, sensors, or associated neural circuits that affect these life and death decisions. We find that a specialized population of olfactory neurons that express receptor Gr63a (a component of the olfactory receptor for gaseous phase CO(2)) affects fly lifespan and physiology. Gr63a loss of function leads to extended lifespan, increased fat deposition, and enhanced resistance to some (but not all) environmental stresses. Furthermore, we find that the reduced lifespan that accompanies exposure to odors from live yeast is dependent on Gr63a. Together these data implicate a specific sensory cue (CO(2)) and its associated receptor as having the ability to modulate fly lifespan and alter organism stress response and physiology. Because Gr63a is expressed in a well-defined population of neurons, future work may now be directed at dissecting more complex neurosensory and neuroendocrine circuits that modulate aging in Drosophila.