Need help with French pronunciation?

Here’s a useful site for demonstration of correct French pronunciation of common perfume words (brand and fragrance names etc) by a Paris-born perfumista who is a professional translator. The site loads a little slowly for me when I first pull it up (possibly because of my slow “high speed” internet connection), but once the site comes up I can navigate easily from page to page and can play the audio just fine. You might find it helpful, and you can request words/phrases for her to add to her file if you have something that you want to know how to pronounce.  I think it’d be nice if she had an alphabetical listing of these so you could easily look them up.  Thanks to Robin at NST for mentioning this site. You can also google to find free sites that pronounce words, but this site is fun because it is tailored to perfume.

I have a new trial for ET that seems quite interesting. I’ll test it some more and see if this is the one to send out. It has less cistus than either of the last two, less musk than 1-16-1 but a bit more musk than 12-30-4, less guaiac, some elemi, and a bit of a newly added resinous ingredient that brings out the cedar a little more (I’m trying with and without that resinous addition to decide). My shipment of orris and some other naturals from France arrived today and I need to go open the box to be sure it is all correct. I’m still catching up with orders; it will be another day or two before I’m caught up. I’m posting another ad to look for a helper. It’d be great to have some help with orders so I can spend more time on scent development and reduce the number of months it takes to create a new fragrance.

It’s my older niece’s birthday today. Happy Birthday to Emma!

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  1. Thank you for writing about my little project.

    I’m sorry the site loads so slowly for you (it does for me too: I don’t have very fast broadband). There’s nothing I can do about that really.

    There is an alphabetical list on my original blog Slap of the Day ( Lists take an awful lot of space. I’ll see if I can add a drop-down menu somewhere.

  2. Hi Bela,

    Love your site! I have slow broadband too and that’s certainly nothing to do with your site. I bet it loads faster for others. I just mentioned that to encourage people on slower connections like mine not to give up too soon because if they wait just a few seconds to let it come up it’ll work great.

    Yes, I was trying to think how to alphabetize it. If it turns into a big project and grows, maybe people could click on a letter of the alphabet to bring up a page just for that letter and then quickly scan for what they are looking to find. I’ll go see what you’ve done from the Slap page!

    Thanks so much for gathering those together in one place — it’s a very helpful resource. Now I just wish I could say them the way you do! 🙂

  3. Goodness, Laurie – Have you been keeping track of the number of versions you’ve got so far on ET? Is this a record? It’s really been fun following the course of development. I hope the final product gets the appreciation it deserves from all the care and love you’ve put into this reformulation.
    I shall look forward to checking out Bela’s translations. That’s such a nice service you’re doing for the community. As a singer, I always try to pronounce the fragrance names as accurately as possible, but my knowledge is still limited. Thanks!

  4. I just hope it turns out well given the effort, lol. I know reformulations make people nervous, but when I do it I upgrade as many materials as I can since I keep acquiring more ingredients as the years go by. I really try to make reformulations either nearly exactly the same (as in Fireside Intense) or better than the original when more significant changes have to be made as in ET.

    I gave up on numbering versions sequentially and I’ve started just coding them with the date and then a number 1 through however many I did on that day, usually 1 to 4 versions. So 1-16-1 was the first (or only) version I did on Jan 16th, etc. The dates skip a lot because I usually do a few versions and then test them for a few days, and sometimes a week or more can go by before I get back to it (like with Bouquet Blanche). I don’t know how many total I’ve done on ET at this point, but more than I did the first time I developed it. The formula is much more complex at this point, which can be good or bad, but I like the direction this has gone.

    To those waiting for this, I’m sorry it’s taken longer than I’d hoped, but I do think it is very close now. I’m about ready to send a few testers out again. People may be either interested in this process, or amused by it, or about ready to give up.

    The 12-30-4 tester I sent out was actually very popular. I just had a few people comment that the musk could be decreased and I agreed that’d be a nice goal, so that was my starting point with these next changes.

    I realized the cistus needed to be reduced, and I wanted the musk lower than 12-30-4 but a bit more than 1-16-1. After those changes the guaiac seemed too high, but after decreasing guaiac it seemed a tad sweet. I then added a couple blending items that cut sweetness and help emphasize the dry resinous notes in it without the slightly burned tone guaiac can sometimes bring with it. I’m finding it interesting now. The labdanum/sandal base is yummy and on the sweeter side, but the dry cedar notes and resins help counter that, and the incense is there throughout, though strongest the first two hours. The sandal blend in the base is really pretty and my goal is to preserve and enhance that while avoiding too much sweetness at the tail end.

    I wish I’d taken French in school! I took Latin in high school and didn’t take a language in college. Bela’s pronunciation examples seem really helpful to me too!

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