It seems to me that there is only way you can create "purple prose". The term itself seems less like an actual definition then words a pundit invented to describe something he recommends for or against. In this case, he is simply recommending that you avoid a certain type of prose that reads as boring. Is my interpretation at least.
edit: to answer your question, I would define purple prose as word that are superfluous without actually being informative in any capacity.
There are many,many ways to bore a reader when you are typing. As you were quick to point out, it can be pretty subjective. Thus its best to always read you own work aloud when your done, and measure the levels of these elements that are certain to degrade the engagement of your work...
1) Technicality. If you are not writing an academic paper or instructions for a technical guide, try to avoid trite technicalities altogether. Act more like your taking to a friend or telling a story to a child then reading a file from your office desk.
2) Expository. The great thing about writing is that the reader's imagination is doing half of the work for us. Thus, you should only concern yourself with explaining a few of the most important details rather then everything there is to know. This is especially true for writing fiction.
3) Repetition. Make damn sure you don't repeat the use of words over and over again. Be sure to always double check your work and have a Thesaurus handy if necessary.
4) Stagnation. Don't be afraid to spice things up; a single sentence with a beautiful metaphor or simile will tell more to your audience then ten paragraphs of technical exposition. Remember that.
5) Pretention. On the other side of the rainbow, keep in mind that the whole point of writing anything is to inform the reader. The creativity is in how you inform them, not in the number of superfluous sayings you can cram into a single sentence. Do not sacrifice substance for style.
Always remember; when in doubt, read it out loud to yourself or to someone else. That's the best way to spot potential flaws. Thank you, and I hope that helps.