Etymology
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whiff (n.)
13c., weffe "foul scent or odor," of imitative origin. Modern form became popular late 16c. with tobacco smoking, probably influenced by whiffle "blow in gusts or puffs" (1560s). The verb in the baseball slang sense "to swing at a ball and miss" first recorded 1913.
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steam (v.)
Old English stiemen, stymen "emit vapor, emit a scent or odor," from the root of steam (n.). Meaning "go by steam power" is from 1831. Transitive sense from 1660s, "to emit as steam;" meaning "to treat with steam" is from 1798. Slang steam up (transitive) "make (someone) angry" is from 1922. Related: Steamed; steaming.
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lilac (n.)
1590s, shrub of genus Syringa with mauve flowers, with French lilac, Spanish lilac from Turkish leylak (the tree reached Western Europe via Istanbul), perhaps from a native Balkan name. Attested from 1791 as a color name; as a scent, from 1895. As an adjective, "pale pinkish-purple," from 1801. Related: Lilaceous.
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smack (n.1)

"a taste, flavor, savor" especially a slight flavor that suggests something, from Old English smæc "taste; scent, odor," from Proto-Germanic *smakka- (source also of Old Frisian smek, Middle Dutch smæck, Dutch smaak, Old High German smac, German Geschmack, Swedish smak, Danish smag), from verb *smakjanan, from a Germanic and Baltic root meaning "to taste" (source also of Lithuanian smaguriai "dainties," smagus "pleasing"). Meaning "a trace (of something)" is attested from 1530s.

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thyme (n.)

plant of the mint family, late 14c., from Old French thym, tym (13c.) and directly from Latin thymum, from Greek thymon, which had been derived from PIE root *dheu- (1), base of words meaning "smoke," for its scent or from being burned as a sacrifice, but Beekes finds this "doubtful" and suggests that "As a local plant name, the word is liable to be of Pre-Greek origin." Related: Thymic.

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civet (n.)

1530s, "cat-like quadruped of northern Africa," from French civette (15c.), ultimately (with Italian zibetto, Medieval Latin zibethum, Medieval Greek zapetion) via lost intermediate forms from Arabic zabad "civet," which is said to be related to zabad "foam, froth," zubd "cream," but perhaps this is folk-etymology of an African name. As "secretion of the anal glands of a civet-cat," one popular in perfumes, from 1550s. Hence, as a verb, "to scent with perfume" (c. 1600). Related: Civited.

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stench (n.)
Old English stenc "a smell, odor, scent, fragrance" (either pleasant or unpleasant), from Proto-Germanic *stankwiz (source also of Old Saxon stanc, Old High German stanch, German stank). Related to stincan "emit a smell" (see stink (v.)) as drench is to drink. It tended toward "bad smell" in Old English (as a verb, only with this sense), and the notion of "evil smell" has predominated since c. 1200.
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hard-nosed (adj.)
"stubborn," 1927, from hard (adj.) + nose (n.). Earlier of bullets or shells with hard tips, and of dogs that had difficulty following a scent. Not in common use before 1950s, when it begins to be applied to tough or relentless characters generally (Damon Runyon characters, U.S. Marines, Princeton professors, etc.). Soft-nosed seems to have been used only of bullets.
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osmium (n.)

metallic element of the platinum group, 1803, coined in Modern Latin by its discoverer, English chemist Smithson Tennant (1761-1815) from Greek osmē "smell, scent, odor" good or bad, from PIE root *hed- "to smell" (see odor). With metallic element ending -ium. So called for the pungent smell of its oxide, a highly poisonous acid. The densest stable element, it commonly is found in alloy with iridium. Related: Osmic; osmious.

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brach (n.)
"bitch hound" (archaic), mid-14c., brache, originally "hound that hunts by scent," from Old French braches "hound, hunting dog," brachez, plural of brachet, a word of West Germanic origin (compare Middle Dutch brache, Old High German braccho "hound, setter"), from PIE root *bhrag- "to smell" (source also of Middle High German bræhen "to smell," Middle Irish bren "putrid, foul," perhaps also Latin fragrare "to smell sweetly"). Italian bracco is a Germanic loan word.
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