Originally Posted by JaimeB Well, you know, as a person who speaks pretty decent French, I don't feel the least bit pretentious pronouncing French words in French; I'm just saying French words the only way I know how. I know that when I'm talking to people who wouldn't recognize the French pronunciation of a name, I have to compromise a bit, but it still feels wrong. I don't distort the sound of English so a foreigner who doesn't speak it well will be able to understand me...
I know some people are going to say that French is not the language of the United States or Great Britain, but still, French names are French. With geographical names, we pronounce Paris and Bordeaux as if they were English words, all the while spelling them like French. The French have their own name for London, "Londres." But that's because they have their own word for it. In English we don't have an English name for Infusion d'Iris, unless you just want to translate it into English; then call it Iris Infusion. I really do think most SAs recognize the French pronunciation of French names, though.
If you don't speak French, then maybe it would be good to learn enough "perfume French" to get by. After all, if you love fragrances, you might be willing to work at some of the cultural aspects of your hobby... And don't worry; it doesn't have to be perfect. Most adult learners never lose their foreign accent in a second language. We all just do the best we can.
For the record, I am English but speak fluent French with, I have been told by the French a very good French accent.
I think the problem is perhaps a UK cultural one, where you are seen as showing off if you pronounce French perfume names with the appropriate pronunciation. Plus, the English traditionally don't like the French very much (I do, but then I like their wines, women and food) since we have been at war with them on and off for hundreds of years.
Having said all that of course, as a man in his mid-forties, I no longer give a toss what others think of me and will talk about Cartier Declaration not as "Deck-la-ray-shun" but Day-kla-ra-cyon" just simply because it's more accurate. That accute accent on the "e" is there for a reason.
Maybe we should have a lexicon of pronunciation in the Basenotes directory or in the listing for each frag a phonetic breakdown for the correct pronunciation!