A Guide To Creating Your Signature Scent At PURA
“The appeal of perfume is that it is at once ephemeral and empowering. It creates a shimmering invisible armour that lingers in a room long after its wearer has gone and infuses our imagination with a subtle power, hinting at a hidden identity.”
– Mary Gaitskill
Have you ever fancied yourself a perfumer? At PURA, we can make your scent dreams come true with our custom, bespoke perfuming services. We offer two types of these one-on-one perfuming sessions - a mini and a full size - each of which is an experience to remember and treasure. Keep reading to learn more about these unique services and how you can create a one-of-a-kind fragrance that speaks to your heart, mind, and soul.
Much like musical notes make up a song and various shades of colour are combined to create a painting, fragrance notes are necessary to make a perfume. During our bespoke perfuming sessions at PURA our trained, perfuming ‘nose’ will guide you through creating your personal, scent symphony.
Once you have booked your session, you will receive an email detailing the scents available to you for the session you have selected (either a full bespoke or a mini bespoke*). You will be asked to choose which essential oils, absolutes and essences you would like to smell for your base, heart and top notes. Think of these selections as three note scales that, when blended together, create your perfume's fragrant accord.
When crafting your fragrance, we usually suggest selecting its ‘heart’ notes first since they often make up about 70% of your fragrance. From there, we advise selecting the other two types of notes: top notes which are the lightest, and what you smell first and base notes that linger the longest and are typically richer and earthier.
This is where most of the scent discovery fun begins. PURA’s perfumer will dip a scent stick (mouillette) into each of your selected fragrance notes and place them in a scent tray. This way, you can catch a whiff of each note both individually and together as a group.
At this point, PURA’s perfumer will inquire as to your favourite selected scents and will keep this in mind when mixing your final fragrance. Using pipettes, PURA’s perfumer will create a custom mix of your selected notes in a beaker for you to smell and make adjustments as you feel led. From here, your approved blend will be made into an 7 mL oil based perfume (in a mini-bespoke session for you to take home immediately), or created after your consultation, in our lab (in a full bespoke session which includes an 30 mL alcohol-based eau de parfum) which will take 6-8 weeks to meld.
Read more about PURA’s bespoke perfuming sessions and book online through on our website. These sessions are often referred to as a type of ‘scent’ journey or therapy for our guests and also make for a unique and memorable gift. All PURA’s perfuming ingredients are phthalate-free and all of our essential oils, absolutes and essences have multiple benefits through the power of aromatherapy which your perfumer can explain in more detail. See our full list here.
*PURA's Full Bespoke & Mini Bespoke - What's The Difference?
The Mini Bespoke Service will take approximately 30 minutes and includes a 7mL, jojoba-based, roll-on, custom, 'lean-in-close' perfume oil that you will be able to take with you at the end of the session. Before your appointment you will select from a limited menu of our most loved pure essential oils, absolutes and essences for your base, heart and top notes. This service also includes picking out your own precious or semi-precious gemstone to infuse your custom fragrance with it's unique beauty and therapeutic vibrations.
Total Investment: $110.
PURA's Full Bespoke Session will take approximately 1.0-1.5 hours and includes a 30mL alcohol-based eau de parfum. Before your appointment, you will complete an online, in-depth scent analysis to ensure the most authentic inspiration is used to concoct a formula that will enthral your deepest, most intimate aromatic desires. During your consultation, you and your perfumer will formulate your signature scent from the top, heart, base and accord notes which you experience and choose. Your Bespoke perfume will be created after your consultation, in our lab, and will take 6-8 weeks to meld; we will contact you when your perfume is ready.
Total Investment: $385.
PURA'S Perfuming Glossary
Parfum- A more exclusive and premium concentration. The French word for perfume as well as the strongest fragrance concentration. As it can contain as much as 30% of fragrance oils, it’s also the most expensive.
Gourmand- This is a popular category of fragrance that smells sweet and could be found in a kitchen—or baking in an oven. Think: cocoa absolute, vanilla, or various fruits like raspberry. Examples of gourmand perfumes include Thierry Mugler Angel and Prada Candy, and PURA’s signature No. 1 perfume.
Nose- a "nose", or nez in French, is a person who mixes fragrance components to make perfume; another commonly used term is perfumer, or in French, parfumeur createur.
Note- Simply put, a note is like an ingredient. Notes are divided into three categories or levels: top, middle and base. Together they make up the entire fragrance. The top note is usually the first thing you smell when you pick up a perfume bottle. As that evaporates, you get a whiff of the middle (also referred to as the “heart”) and finally, the base note (which is what lingers on your skin).
Olfactory- This refers to fragrance composition. The structure of a perfume is composed of top notes, heart notes, and base notes. This is referred to as an olfactory pyramid. Each note corresponds to a very specific scent that represents the natural revolution of the fragrance and which perfumes express over time.
Sillage- Pronounced “see-yazh,” this refers to the trail of scent left behind from a perfume. You know when someone steps off an elevator and you catch a faint whiff of their PURA?