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If you want to install a cabin air filter, they mount in the cowl area. To install, you open hood, and remove the plastic mesh/grate on the passenger side, and mush them into place there.
While open you may be able to peer down into the plenum and find the debris/remains that are causing the odor. The cabin air filter will help exclude some of the deterrable critters that are seeking shelter or FOOD. Someone may have left behind some peanut butter crackers or half a Snickers bar and enticed a wild thing to move in. They may have gotten carsick and expired.
Any way, the filter is mounted externally, not through the glove box, and you will have some access to the plenum and possibly the heater core and the evaporator. Likely you will want to have a vacuum cleaner with narrow attachment to suction out 'stuff'. You may want to open the bleed on the vacuum to lower the suction so it is more controllable inside the small area.
tom

added: You can also flush the plenum to prove that the evaporator drain works. There should be an outlet for condensed water to drain from the plenum. If clogged, it can cause/allow mold or mildew to grow in the nice warm moist area. Spraying inside the plenum, with the drain un-clogged, with a water:bleach mix can reduce or eliminate the mold/mildew problem. There are special foam mixtures HVAC professionals use to clean evaporators in home and auto. The foam is sprayed on, allowed to soak, and then washed off down the open drain, or in the air handler, and out the condensate drain. FWIW.
 
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