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Was there any squealing from the clutch? I think that a high-side discharge would be very noticeably loud considering the pressures in the system, somwewhere in the 300 psi region... if you've ever drained an air compressor, you know how loud those can be and those only run at about 150 psi. There is a higher volume of air in that example, but it wouldn't have been something I would describe as a "puff" regardless. Refrigerant also sometimes leaves the compressor lube oil behind as it exits, leaving tell-tale oil spots. If the A/C clutch is slipping, though, perhaps from oil on the plates from a weeping shaft seal, you could get smoke under certain conditions.
Make sure your condenser is clean, too. The condenser is mounted in front of the radiator, so it gets the brunt of the rock and insect accumulation. The fins on the condenser are also tiny compared to the ones on the radiator, so stuff will get stuck in there much more readily, reducing the surface area of the condenser and its performance. You may be able to straighten some of the fins if they are badly bent, but beware that they are rather sharp.
 
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