Say 'Chypre'? Correctly
How To Say 'Chypre' Audio
Phonetics For Pronouncing 'Chypre'?
Famous Quotes & Facts
A Quick Overview Of Chypre
'Chypre' *(f) is French for 'Cyprus' which is an island country which sits between Greece and Turkey. Inhabitants of Cyprus are called 'Chypriotes' in French (Cypriots). Although there is some argument to be made that the etymology of Cyprus comes from the word which describes cypress trees, I can't find anything to definitely confirm it: in any event, the French word for 'cypress' is not chypre, but 'cyprès'. The only accurate translation of 'Chypre' is 'Cyprus'.
If you look up chypre in relation to fragrance, you will see that cut and paste has been repeated so many times that people actually think that 'chypre' is the French word for 'cypress'. The number of blind repetitions, between which no-one has been moved to pick up a dictionary, are disheartening. Every time the error is repeated it gains more credibility. I believe that language should evolve, not stagnate, but perpetuating an error has nothing to do with linguistic evolution. This is how the descent to idiocracy becomes inevitable.
Now that you know better, let me add that for a fragrance to be considered a chypre, it must contain these five notes: wood, floral, citrus, oakmoss and amber. No cypress mentioned anywhere. Imagine that :roll:
The Chypre family of fragrances is often said to have begun with François Coty, but this is inaccurate - it existed long before he came along, and may even date to Roman times. However, Monsieur Coty can be credited with popularizing chypres, and paving the way for them to make their place in fragrance history reach into the modern era.
Great chypre fragrances include Mitsouko by Guerlain, and Miss Dior.
For a truly superb article about the history of chypre perfumes, I highly recommend this article at the Perfume Shrine, which is one of the most extraordinarily well-researched and interesting blogs I've read in ages.
Here is the Oxford University Link for the English pronunciation of chypre. You will note that the schwa (the 'uh' sound of the final 'e' written as [e]) phonetically is optional in the English pronunciation - but English speakers tend to find it easier to use, which is what I do. Another example where we do this is 'louvre' - we say loo/v[e] (as in the museum and louvre blinds) rather than cutting off at the 'r' as the French do, which sounds quite abrupt in English. The way the French roll the 'r' is what makes it easier for them to leave the final 'e' as silent. If you can manage to pronounce 'chypre' comfortably without the schwa, that's fine, of course. Any thoughts on this, please comment away.
Any intelligent, polite disagreement, comments and so on are always welcome, so please do add them!