benzene:  The original name given to this hydrocarbon, by the German chemist Eilhardt Mitscherlich in 1833, was benzine. He based it on the term benzoic acid, a derivative of benzoin, the name of a resinous substance exuded by trees of the genus Styrax. This came ultimately from Arabic lubān-jāwī, literally ‘frankincense of Java’ (the trees grow in Southeast Asia).
When the expression was borrowed into the Romance languages, the initial lu- was apprehended as the definite article, and dropped (ironically, since in so many Arabic words which do contain the article al, it has been retained as part and parcel of the word – see ALGEBRA). This produced a variety of forms, including French benjoin, Portuguese beijoim, and Italian benzoi.
English probably acquired the word mainly from French (a supposition supported by the folketymological alteration benjamin which was in common use in English from the end of the 16th century), but took the z from the Italian form. Meanwhile, back with benzine, in the following year, 1834, the German chemist Justus von Liebig proposed the alternative name benzol; and finally, in the 1870s, the chemist A W Hofmann regularized the form to currently accepted chemical nomenclature as benzene. => benzol
1835, benzine, altered from German Benzin, coined in 1833 by German chemist Eilhardt Mitscherlich (1794-1863) from Benz(oesäure) "benzoic acid" + -in, indicating "derived from" (see -ine (2)). Mitscherlich obtained it from a distillation of benzoic acid, obtained from benzoin. The form benzene (with hydrocarbon suffix -ene), proposed in 1835, began to be used from 1838 in English, but in mid-19c. it also commonly was called benzol.