A beginner’s guide to

Discovering Fragrance

Creating a scent from scratch, the way our world-renowned perfumers do, is both a science and an art. Discover the magic that’s in every Pura fragrance in this behind-the-scenes look at what makes each scent so unique.

The Structure of Fragrance

Just like with designer perfumes, each of our premium fragrances is made up of three parts. Together, the endless combinations of notes can add feeling and individuality to any environment.


The top note is the initial impression of the fragrance, designed to provide immediate appeal. Top note ingredients are volatile and diffuse quickly.

MIDDLE (heart)

The middle is the most prominent part of the scent. It gives the fragrance personality and character and consists of full-bodied ingredients that diffuse more slowly.

BOTTOM (base/drydown)

The bottom is where you find the long-lasting qualities of the fragrance. These more persistent and substantive ingredients diffuse slowest.

Fragrance Categories

While the possible combinations of notes are endless, fragrances fall into 6 main categories. Depending on the notes used, fragrances can belong to the same category but still smell nothing alike.


The citrus category is made up of lively, refreshing, and energetic fragrances from ingredients like lemon, bergamot, mandarin, and grapefruit.

The citrus classification has roots in the classic “eau de cologne” named after the city of Cologne, Germany, where the type was first created. You can actually find elements of citrus in all the scent categories!

Citrus Fragrances


Used to add a gust of originality, vibrancy, and fun, fruity notes have been popular since the late 90’s. These notes can include blackberry, peach, apple, pear, pineapple, apricot, banana, etc.

Fruity notes range from juicy, sparkling, and crispy notes, to more lush and slightly edible qualities that feel more sensuous and creamy. These notes can be used in the top, middle, and bottom of a fragrance.

Fruity Fragrances


This modern category, first appearing in the 1900s, often includes strong watery/marine, ozonic (clean), airy, and citrus characteristics.

Fresh notes can transport you to a relaxing beach, an invigorating waterfall, a lush green landscape, or an airy room filled with newly washed linens.

Fresh Fragrances


The amber family is based on notes of amber, resins, vanilla, saffron and other spices, and (some) woods. The name came from the fragrance Amber Antique by Coty, which launched in 1908.

Amber notes are notably heavier than other categories, with notes that are rich, textured, sensual, and addictive in character. This makes them great for nighttime and cooler weather.

Amber Fragrances


A wide range of qualities make up this category, from light, sheer, and textural to dark, smoky, and leathery. A newer scent family, woody notes are used for their modernity, signature, and elegance, skillfully incorporated into both masculine and feminine scents.

Known to add depth and longevity to a fragrance, the classic wood notes like what eucalyptus smells like, cedar wood, patchouli, vetiver, cashmere, and sandalwood can offer warmth, mystery, and luxury.

Woody Fragrances


The floral category is most often used in middle notes of a fragrance blended with citrus, fruit, woods, and musk to create diverse combinations.

The floral family is divided into floral bouquets, floral green, floral fruity, floral woody, and floral fresh. Some floral notes used today include tuberose, jasmine, rose, violet, and orange blossom.

Floral Fragrances

Our sense of smell gets stronger when we’re hungry.

Genes, diet, and the weather can all affect how something smells.

The cells that allow you to smell, olfactory sensory neurons, connect directly to the brain.

Scents are intensely linked to memory because the olfactory system is directly connected to the brain's memory system.

Humans have only 4 types of light sensors and 4 types of touch receptors, but at least 1,000 different types of smell receptors.

Humans can recognize over 10,000 different smells, and no two people sense smells the same way.