SM(ELL) $ahM Samekh-Mem
SUM סם [SM]
ROOTS: SMELL, OSMIUM and OSMATIC are, more recently, from Greek osme or osmi οσμή , smell, scent. The alleged IE base smul (linked to SMOLDER) has the basic sense of "to give off smoke." The slow-burning, smoldering incense of Leviticus 4:7 indicates that the historical linguists were following the right scent. But a Semitic source would stink up their racist White Power thesis.
סם $ahM, in the plural סמים $ahMeeYM means spices, aromatics (Exodus 30:34). The incense (see above) involved such strong-smelling spices, and בשם (Boa)SeM is the BALSAM plant or an adjective meaning fragrent or spicey.(spice) are in Exodus 35:28.
סם $ahM can also mean “drug, medicine or poison,” as it does with סמא $aMAh in Aramaic-Syriac. Many drugs, even medicines are poison… certainly narcotics. The term “aromatherapy” links smell and medicine, and the good or bad “smell” of a reputation, a שמע SHeyM[A]h (Joshua 6:27) becomes more distinct. We can ride the waves of fricative-nasal SENSATION from SMELL to SOUND. See “SOUND.”
זנח ZaNa[K]H (Isaiah 19:6) and צחן TSa[K]HaN ( Joel 2:20) can mean "stink" – see “SKUNK.” Synonyms by metathesis.
BRANCHES: בשם Boa$eM, spice, perfume, opens up our SENSES to a fricative-nasal sub-root, and a wider theme than a dictionary definition.
OZONE is a cognate of OSMIUM. The SM and ZN terms link up with SNIFF and SN words at "SNORKEL." The composite global words for “NOSE” and “smell” are similarly fricative-nasals, sometimes reversed but usually SN.
Akkadian shammu (plant, drug, medicine) likely means that the SHAMAN was an herbalist and natural healer with the canny marketing sense to play the powerful, crucial sorcerer. Forms of this SM healer-spiritualist are found all over E. Europe, and as far back as Tocharian B. Spinning their typical linguistic sham of affected expertise, the AHD traces SHAMAN to Sanskrit sramah (religious exercise) and sramati (he toils, practices austerity). Buying the bad medicine and sleight-of-hand magic of Semitically-challenged etymology may not make us smarter, but it does create jobs with tenure.