Etymology
Advertisement
frangipani (n.)

common name of a type of flowering shrub from the West Indies, also frangipane, 1670s, for a perfume that had its odor, from French frangipane (16c.), said to be from Frangipani, the family name of the Italian inventor.

FRANGIPANI, an illustrious and powerful Roman House, which traces its origin to the 7th c., and attained the summit of its glory in the 11th and 12th centuries. ... The origin of the name Frangipani is attributed to the family's benevolent distribution of bread in time of famine. ["Chambers's Encyclopædia," 1868]

Frangipane as a type of pastry is from 1858.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
sagebrush (n.)

collective name for a type of dry, shrubby plant that grows over the vast dry plains of the western U.S., by 1846, from sage (n.1), to which it has no biological affinity, + brush (n.2). Said to be so called for resemblance of its appearance or odor.

Sage-brush is very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child, the mule. ["Mark Twain," "Roughing It"]
Related entries & more 
funky (adj.)
1784, "old, musty," in reference to cheeses, then "repulsive," from funk (n.2) + -y (2). It began to develop an approving sense in jazz slang c. 1900, probably on the notion of "earthy, strong, deeply felt." Funky also was used early 20c. by white writers in reference to body odor allegedly peculiar to blacks. The word reached wider popularity c. 1954 (it was defined in "Time" magazine, Nov. 8, 1954) and in the 1960s acquired a broad slang sense of "fine, stylish, excellent."
Related entries & more 
merde (n.)

also merd, "dung, excrement," late 15c., from Old French merde "feces, excrement, dirt" (13c.), from Latin merda "dung, ordure, excrement." De Vaan compares Lithuanian smirdėti "to stink," Latvian smards "smell, odor," dialectal Russian smorod, Ukrainian smorid, genitive smorodu "stink," from a PIE *smerdh- "stench." Merd was naturalized in English through 17c., but subsequently lost and since mid-19c. (and especially since World War I) it has been generally treated as a French word when used in English.

Related entries & more 
fragrant (adj.)
mid-15c., from Latin fragrantem (nominative fragrans) "sweet-smelling," present participle of fragrare "smell strongly, emit (a sweet) odor," from Proto-Italic *fragro-, from PIE root *bhrag- "to smell" (source also of Old Irish broimm "break wind," Middle High German bræhen "to smell," Middle Dutch bracke, Old High German braccho "hound, setter;" see brach). Usually of pleasing or agreeable smells, but sometimes ironic. Related: Fragrantly.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
breath (n.)
Old English bræð "odor, scent, stink, exhalation, vapor" (Old English word for "air exhaled from the lungs" was æðm), from Proto-Germanic *bræthaz "smell, exhalation" (source also of Old High German bradam, German Brodem "breath, steam"), perhaps from a PIE root *gwhre- "to breathe; smell."

The original long vowel (preserved in breathe) has become short. Meaning "ability to breathe," hence "life" is from c. 1300. Meaning "a single act of breathing" is from late 15c.; sense of "the duration of a breath, a moment, a short time" is from early 13c. Meaning "a breeze, a movement of free air" is from late 14c.
Related entries & more 
rue (n.1)

perennial evergreen shrub, native to the Mediterranean and western Asia, used in cooking and highly esteemed in the Middle Ages as a medicine, late 14c., from Old French rue (13c.), earlier rude, from Latin ruta "rue," probably from Greek rhytē, a word of uncertain etymology, originally a Peloponnesian word for the common Greek pēganon, itself probably a Pre-Greek word, and some consider Latin ruta and Greek rhytē rather as common borrowings from a Mediterranean language.

The plant's disagreeable odor and the bitter taste of its leaves led to many punning allusions to rue (n.2.). Related: Rutic; rutaceous.

Related entries & more 
nasturtium (n.)

name given to various plants of the mustard family, including watercress, late Old English nasturtium, nasturcium, from Latin nasturtium "cress;" the popular etymology explanation of the name (Pliny) is that it is from Latin *nasitortium, literally "nose-twist," from nasus "nose" (from PIE root *nas- "nose") + past participle of torquere "to twist" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist"); the plant so called for its somewhat acrid odor. Modern application to a South American trailing plant with orange flowers is recorded from 1704.

Related entries & more 
pungent (adj.)

1590s, "sharp and painful, poignant, piercing," originally figurative, of pain or grief, from Latin pungentem (nominative pungens), present participle of pungere "to prick, pierce, sting," figuratively, "to vex, grieve, trouble, afflict" (from suffixed form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick"). For sense development, compare piquant; sharp (adj.).

Meaning "having powerful odor or taste, sharply affecting the sense of smell" is recorded by 1660s; in reference to writing, etc., "sharply affecting the mind, curt and expressive" is by 1850. The literal sense of "sharp, pointed" (c. 1600) is very rare in English and mostly limited to botany.

Middle English and early Modern English also had a now-obsolete verb punge "to prick, pierce; to smart, cause to sting," from Latin pungere. Related: Pungently.

Related entries & more 
smell (v.)
late 12c., "emit or perceive an odor," not found in Old English, perhaps cognate with Middle Dutch smolen, Low German smelen "to smolder" (see smolder). However, OED says "no doubt of Old English origin, but not recorded, and not represented in any of the cognate languages." Related: Smelled or smelt; smelling.

Smelling salts (1840), used to revive the woozy, typically were a scented preparation of carbonate of ammonia. Smell-feast (n.) "one who finds and frequents good tables, one who scents out where free food is to be had" is from 1510s ("very common" c. 1540-1700, OED). Smell-smock "licentious man" was in use c. 1550-c. 1900. To smell a rat "be suspicious" is from 1540s.
Related entries & more 

Page 5