Martha - Too popular Claudia - Means lame in Latin plus could have pronunciation problems Tessa - I dislike nicknames as given names and this was originally a nickname for Teresa Raphaella - Would probably get shortened to Ella which is a bit overdone Valentina - Would get shortened to Val or Tina neither of which I like. Athena - I'm not Greek Paloma - I'm not Spanish Henrietta - I like it but think it's a bit too posh/horsey, don't think I'd feel comfortable saying it! Saffron - Love it but think it's not as classy as the rest.
Martha: is it that popular? Is this a problem? Claudia: I can't see any pronoucination problems personally, meaning wouldn't bother me. Tessa: I would consider this a name in its own right. Raphaella/Valentina: I just don't like. Accept you have a point about nicknames. Athena/Paloma: I don't think need to be Greek or Spanish. Saffron: I think this is lovely. Henrietta: bit horsey I agree.
Oh god, you are like me OP! I wish I could just like a name and go with it and not give a damn what anyone else thinks. I'm sure if it weren't for Mumsnet and the ONS baby names list I'd have called my children James and Emily - beautiful, classic names. But you do get sucked into thinking you have to find a unique name and believing all the MN posters who tell you they know 25 Persephones and 35 Geronimos under 3 at playgroup!
I know a little paloma, they are not Spanish, but a v glam family and it suits her perfectly, she got called pea when she was little and now she's paloma. No one bats an eyelid that she's not Spanish, they just comment on what a lovely name she has.