Perfume (パフューム) is an all-girl electro-pop trio from Hiroshima who debuted locally in 2001 and nationally in 2005. At first, Perfume had a hard time finding an audience or any success. They started off with a more traditional idol pop sound and gradually shifted more and more into the electro-pop they are known for today. It wasn't until the release of their 10th single "Polyrhythm" that the group was elevated to a new level of popularity. Today, they are a top seller in the J-pop industry and are consistently releasing hits.
- Kawayuka (かわゆか)
2000-01 - Early Years/Local Debut
In 2000, three young girls formed a group together in their hometown of Hiroshima. They were Nishiwaki Ayaka (A~chan), Kashino Yuka (Kashiyuka), and Kawashima Yuuka (Kawayuka). Because all three members had the Japanese character for fragrance in their names (香), they named the group Perfume. However, before the group could even debut, Kawashima decided to pull out of the project and pursue her studies.
Perfume decided to continue on as a duo but Nishiwaki's mother commented on the lack of power that a two-member group has. Nishiwaki set out to find a replacement, and Oomoto Ayano (Nocchi) joined as the third member. The three girls attended the Actors School in Hiroshima (as part of the inaugural class of 1999) so although it was awkward for Nocchi and Kashiyuka at first (they had never met before being introduced by A~chan), they soon became a tight-knit group.
In 2001, Perfume debuted in Hiroshima with the single "OMAJINAI★Perori". They followed up the release with "Kareshi Boshuuchuu". Both singles were only sold in Hiroshima under Momiji Label. Around this time they also met MIKIKO, a dance instructor who would go on to choreograph all of the group's dances from this point forward.
2003-05 - BEE-HIVE/Indies Era
In 2003, following their graduation from the Actors School in Hiroshima, the trio moved to Tokyo. There, they became a part of BEE-HIVE (an idol group similar to Hello! Project) and signed with the management office Amuse Inc.. As a part of BEE-HIVE, the trio experienced the harsh reality of life away from home as well as dormitory life. However, they also made friends and learned valuable lessons.
In Tokyo, they also met someone who would become a crucial aspect of their success, capsule's Nakata Yasutaka who would become their main producer. Between the years of 2003 and 2004, they released "Sweet Donuts", "Monochrome Effect", and "Vitamin Drop" under the indies label BEE-HIVE RECORDS. It was also during this time that they had their first three live performances. Because the girls were so energetic, fans acquired an appreciation for them. Still, none of their releases became a hit. Not very many people showed up to Perfume's lives and they struggled to build a fanbase. Although the members became distressed by their lack of success, they carried on. Though they were in danger of being dropped, their management office made the choice to give Perfume a major debut.
In August of 2005, Perfume dabbled in Akihabara style music. They participated in a special project tiled Akihabalove featuring Perfume x DJ Momo-i. The song was released on a DVD along with the promotional video.
2005-06 - Major Debut
On September 21, 2005, Perfume made its major label debut under the label, Tokuma Japan Communications. They released the single "Linear Motor Girl", which managed to chart on the Oricon charts at #99.
Two singles, "Computer City" and "Electro World" followed in 2006. Around this time, more people began to notice Perfume through rumors on the internet as well as through YouTube videos. Nakata's unique style led to Perfume being crowned as a "near future technopop unit". However, none of the three releases was a solid hit.
On August 2, 2006, Perfume released Perfume ~Complete Best~ along with a new track, "Perfect Star Perfect Style" . They promoted the album at small events in stores and on streets, even handing out leaflets to passing strangers. The album reached #33 on the Oricon charts (later climbing up as high as #25 with the release of Perfume's 2nd album GAME). The release of this compilation caused fans to worry that the group's disbandment was near as usually, groups who release best-of albums before they have a major hit are disbanded soon after.
On December 20, 2006, Perfume released a digital single, "Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow". The song later appeared on their single, "Fan Service [sweet]". One day later, Perfume had a live concert held at Harajuku Astro Hall which was later recorded and released as Fan Service [bitter].
2007 - Polyrhythm & Success Breakthrough
While almost all of the other BEE-HIVE members began to get dropped by Amuse Inc., Perfume was given the opportunity to release another single. In February 2007, they released "Fan Service [sweet]" featuring the fun dance track "Chocolate Disco". This was a turning point for Perfume in which their luck began to change. Although the sales for "Fan Service [sweet]" were not stellar, "Chocolate Disco" caught the attention of an already well-established artist in the J-pop industry, Kimura Kaela. Kimura played Perfume's music on her radio show consistently. While listening to Kimura's radio show, a commercial director named Akira Tomotsugi noticed Perfume and decided to use the three girls in an upcoming TV ad.
On July 1, 2007, the commercial for NHK's national recycling campaigned aired, featuring Perfume and a new song, "Polyrhythm". The commercial gave Perfume exposure they could have only dreamed of before. Subsequently, their next live show sold out, Perfume ~Complete Best~ reached #1 on the Amazon CD charts, and Perfume became the first idol group to perform at the Summer Sonic music festival.
On September 12, 2007, Perfume released their 10th single "Polyrhythm". It reached #4 on the Oricon daily single charts and climbed as high as #7 on the weekly charts. This is noted as the beginning of Perfume's national fame.
2008 - GAME Era
On April 16, 2008, Perfume released their first original album, GAME. The album reached #1 on the Oricon charts upon its release, making Perfume the first technopop group to achieve this since Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1983. Amazingly, at the time of the album's release, Perfume ~Complete Best~, "Polyrhythm", and "Baby cruising Love / Macaroni" all re-entered the Oricon charts. The album went on to sell over 450,000 copies and was certified double platinum.
After the album's release, Perfume First Tour "GAME" was announced. The group toured 10 cities and sold out all tickets. On the final date of the tour, Perfume announced that they would be doing a 2-day show at the prestigious Nippon Budokan in November 2008, as well as the release date of their next single, "love the world" The single, released on July 9, 2008, became the first technopop song to ever reach #1 on the Oricon charts.
2009 - ⊿ Era
In October 2008, the Perfume First Tour "GAME" DVD was announced. Upon its release, it beat out prominent artists like Koda Kumi and Namie Amuro for the #1 spot. Perfume then performed at Budokan for 2 days, November 6th and 7th. On the second show, titled "BUDOUKaaaaaaaaaaN!!!!!", they announced a show at yet another famous venue, Yoyogi National Gymnasium titled "Disco!Disco!Disco!".
The year 2008 ended with the release of their 13th single, "Dream Fighter", which reached #2 on the charts. They were also chosen to sing at NHK's 59th Kouhaku Uta Gassen, the prestigious end of the year live TV program (with A~chan fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams).
On March 24, 2009 Perfume’s "Dream Fighter" PV won the title “BEST CHOREOGRAPHY VIDEO” at SPACE SHOWER TV「MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS 09」
On March 25, 2009, Perfume released their 14th single, "One Room Disco", which reached #1 on the charts. In April 2009, Perfume began broadcast of a comedy sketch program titled Perfume's Chandelier House.
On July 8, 2009, the group released its 3rd album, ⊿. The album was another #1 hit for Perfume, selling over 300,000 copies. Perfume then went on their 2nd nationwide tour in order to promote the album.
2010-11 - 10th Anniversary & Tokyo Dome
Following the P.T.A. tour, A~chan expressed interest in holding a live at Tokyo Dome. Soon after, it was announced that Perfume would indeed be having a show at the prestigious venue titled Kessei 10 Shunen, Major Debut 5 Shunen Kinen! Perfume LIVE at Tokyo Dome 「1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11」.
In Summer 2010, Perfume, along with other Japanese artists like Koda Kumi or Kubukuro, took part in a commercial for a Pepsi NEX campaign. In that commercial, they covered a short segment of Lovefool by The Cardigans.
On August 11, 2010, Perfume celebrated their 10th anniversary with the release of their 16th single, "VOICE". The single reached #2 on the charts and has sold over 120,000 copies. Following up the success of "VOICE", Perfume released their 17th single, "Nee". The single also reached #2 on the Oricon charts and debuted with sales of 85,000 copies.
On November 3, 2010, Perfume held the announced concert at Tokyo Dome titled Kessei 10 Shunen, Major Debut 5 Shunen Kinen! Perfume LIVE at Tokyo Dome 「1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11」 in celebration of their 10th anniversary together as a group. Perfume was the first female group to have a concert at the dome since SPEED in 1998 and the 2nd female group overall. Tickets for the show were sold out on the day tickets were released. The demand for the tickets was so high that extra, unplanned seats were added. Perfume performed to 50,000 fans.
On November 28, 2010, Perfume attended the Korean awards show Mnet! Asian Music Awards in Macau to receive the "Best Asia Pop Artist Award". It was Perfume's first overseas performance and the first time that a Japanese artist had attended the awards in person (AKB48 appeared the previous year on the show through a satellite broadcast).
To finish up 2010, Perfume attended numerous end of the year shows, including those hosted by CDTV and Music Station. Once again, Perfume attended NHK's annual Kouhaku Uta Gassen as part of the Red Team.
On February 9, 2011, Perfume released their 5th concert DVD, titled Kessei 10 Shunen, Major Debut 5 Shunen Kinen! Perfume LIVE at Tokyo Dome 「1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11」 . It was filmed at their November 3, 2010 Tokyo Dome concert. The DVD debuted at #1 on the Oricon Weekly DVD charts and Perfume became the first female group to have four consecutive #1 debuts on the DVD chart.
On May 18, 2011, Perfume released their 18th single, "Laser Beam / Kasuka na Kaori". The single reached #2 on the Oricon Weekly single charts. It sold over 90,000 copies in the first week, marking the group's best first week sales for a single.
2011-12 - JPN, Arena Tour, Label Change and First Asia Tour
Perfume promoted once again for Kirin in beginning of July with a new song called "GLITTER". In September they announced the release of their 4th Album JPN and simultaneously, the release of their 19th single "Spice". "Spice" was used as the theme song for the drama series Sengyoshufu Tantei, the first a Perfume song was selected for a theme song. September also saw the digital release of "Perfume Selection" in Korea to coincide with their appearance at the 2011 Asia Song Festival, marking the group's first overseas release. They also announced their third tour in support of JPN beginning in January 2012 which was the group's first arena tour.
JPN was released on November 30th. The album took the #1 spot in the Oricon Weekly Chart upon its release making Perfume the first girl group to have 3 consecutive #1 albums releases since SPEED. Once again, to finished the year, Perfume attended NHK's annual Kouhaku Uta Gassen as part of the Red Team.
At the end of February 2012, Perfume announced that they have changed record labels from Tokuma Japan Communications to Universal Music Japan with an intent to enter the global market. They then officially kicked off overseas activities by releasing JPN in 50 countries on the iTunes Store, launching an official global website, and opening an official YouTube channel. Following the label change, Perfume announced their 20th single titled "Spring of Life". The song was once again used in a CM for Kirin, which was shot in Los Angeles, California. It was the first time that Perfume had shot a video overseas. The B-Side called "Communication" was the tie-in for the candy "KANRO Puré Gummy".
In March they also released a tie-in from Kirin with a new song called POINT. The song was used again in may to promote for Kirin. On June 6th another new CM was released including the song "Hurly Burly". Finally on June 23rd, Perfume announced on their official site the release of their new single "Spending all my time" for August 15th. The single included POINT and Hurly Burly as B-Side songs.
On 12th September Perfume released their first global album titled Perfume Global Compilation "LOVE THE WORLD" as well as kicked off their first Asia tour titled "Perfume WORLD TOUR 1st" in which they visited Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, it ended in the end of November.
2013 - World Tour 2nd, LEVEL3 & Perfume 4th Tour in Dome "Level3"
At their last stop in Singapore on their Asia Tour Perfume announced the release of a new single for the beginning of 2013, which would include the brand new song "Mirai no Museum", theme song for the Doraemon movie Nobita no Himitsu Dougu Hakubutsukan (Museum). "Mirai no Museum" was released on February 27th, and it peaked at #2 on Oricon charts.
In March, Perfume announced in May/June they would hold a concert tour titled Zutto Sukidattanjake~ Sasurai no Men Kata Perfume FES!! that featured three invited guests (Saito Kazuyoshi, Okuda Tamio, and MAXIMUM THE HORMONE) in a Battle of Bands concept; there was be a total of six concerts held across Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. In late March the group also announced the release of their next single, "Magic of Love", which was released on 22nd May together with the "Perfume WORLD TOUR 1st" DVD. The A-Side was be used to promote KANRO Puré, just as their song Communication did in Spring 2012. The B-side was titled Handy Man.
In April Perfume announced that they would hold a 2nd World Tour in July visiting Europe for a total of three concerts in Germany, England and France. The London show was sold out almost immediately after going on sale, as a result the venue was upgraded to a larger one which again sold out very quickly. The London show was live streamed to theaters in 10 countries including Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and the USA.
On the final date of their Zutto Sukidattanjake~ Sasurai no Men Kata Perfume FES!! tour Perfume announced the release of their fourth studio album named LEVEL3, which was released in the fall of that year. In December, they played a total of four dome concerts. They also announced all six of their previous live DVD releases would be re-released on Blu-Ray, their back catalog from "Fan Service [sweet]" onwards would be available digitally via iTunes, and their PVs would be available to stream in full via YouTube.
Perfume held their LEVEL3 tour at Osaka's Kyocera Dome on December 7th and 8th, and at Tokyo Dome on December 24th and 25th with Chocola BB as their sponsor.
2014 - Perfume FES!! 2014 & 5th Tour Gurungurun
On January 21st, Perfume announced that they would hold another Perfume FES!! tour again. They planned to go to nine cities with eight different guest bands planned for each date, consisting of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, RIP SLYME, 9nine, 9mm Parabellum Bullet, RHYMESTER, Motohiro Hata, Takahashi Yu, and MAXIMUM THE HORMONE. Perfume's joint concert with 9nine was held on March 20th and 21st in Perfume's hometown of Hiroshima, with A~chan and her younger sister Chaapon (real name Nishiwaki Sayaka) briefly switching places in their respective groups to put on memorable performances of two songs from each unit's discography. Unfortunately, on April 16th, the South Korean Sewol ferry tragedy occurred, and out of respect to the lives lost Perfume canceled the final date of the FES!! tour which was to feature guest MAXIMUM THE HORMONE.
Later, on April 29th, Perfume announced a surprise nationwide fifth tour titled Gurungurun (ぐるんぐるん). A Japanese onomatopoeia, the title roughly means "round and round", meant to be a reference to their traveling "round and round" Japan to each tour date. The tour consisted of fourteen dates, beginning on August 1st at the Hiroshima Green Arena and concluding on September 21st at Tokyo's Yoyogi Stadium where the group had not performed in five years.
On May 21st, the group announced their twentieth major single "Cling Cling" that was later released on July 16th.
2015 - 15th Anniversary
Perfume began their 15th anniversary year with the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Gurungurun on March 10th, which was accompanied by a new single announcement. They additionally appeared at major multimedia festival SXSW in Texas that month, marking their third live performance in the United States, and debuted new track "STORY (SXSW-MIX)" in a special showcase utilizing projection mapping that was streamed on YouTube and live edited by stagecraft director Daito Manabe.
The trio's 20th major single "Relax In The City / Pick Me Up" was released on April 29th. Later on in May, it was announced the group will embark on a series of ten live concerts under the title Perfume Anniversary 10days 2015 PPPPPPPPPP (the PPP part being pronounced "papapapapapapapapapa", a reference to the Japanese pronunciation of the unit's name as Pafyuumu), beginning on September 21st at the small live house TSUTAYA O-WEST where the unit has not performed since achieving success.
Other events planned in celebration of the 15th anniversary include a dance contest similar to previous ones held in 2011 and 2013, and another FES!! tour, with details to follow.
- [2006.08.02] Perfume ~Complete Best~ (Limited Edition)
- [2007.02.14] Perfume ~Complete Best~ (Regular Edition) (Re-issue)
- [2012.09.12] Perfume Global Compilation "LOVE THE WORLD"
- [2008.02.13] Fan Service ~Prima Box~
- [2002.03.21] OMAJINAI★Perori (OMAJINAI★ペロリ; What Should I Do) (Hiroshima Limited, Perfume (ぱふゅーむ))
- [2002.11.01] Kareshi Boshuuchuu (彼氏募集中; Recruiting a Boyfriend) (Hiroshima Limited, Perfume (ぱふゅーむ))
- [2003.08.06] Sweet Donuts (スウィートドーナッツ) (Indies)
- [2004.03.17] Monochrome Effect (モノクロームエフェクト) (Indies)
- [2004.09.08] Vitamin Drop (ビタミンドロップ) (Indies)
- [2005.09.21] Linear Motor Girl (リニアモーターガール)
- [2006.01.11] Computer City (コンピューターシティ)
- [2006.06.28] Electro World (エレクトロ・ワールド)
- [2007.02.14] Fan Service [sweet] (ファン・サーヴィス[sweet])
- [2007.09.12] Polyrhythm (ポリリズム)
- [2008.01.16] Baby cruising Love / Macaroni (マカロニ)
- [2008.07.09] love the world
- [2008.11.19] Dream Fighter
- [2009.03.25] One Room Disco (ワンルーム・ディスコ)
- [2010.04.14] Fushizen na Girl / Natural ni Koishite (不自然なガール / ナチュラルに恋して; Artificial Girl / Fall in Love Naturally)
- [2010.08.11] VOICE
- [2010.11.10] Nee (ねぇ; Hey)
- [2011.05.18] Laser Beam / Kasuka na Kaori (レーザービーム / 微かなカオリ; Faint Scent)
- [2011.11.02] Spice (スパイス)
- [2012.04.11] Spring of Life
- [2012.08.15] Spending all my time
- [2013.02.27] Mirai no Museum (未来のミュージアム; Museum of the Future)
- [2013.05.22] Magic of Love
- [2013.11.27] Sweet Refrain
- [2014.07.16] Cling Cling
- [2015.04.29] Relax In The City / Pick Me Up
- [2006.12.20] Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow
- [2011.09.28] Perfume Selection
- [2013.09.18] 1mm
- [2013.10.12] Sweet Refrain (Drama Ver.)
- [2014.05.21] Hold Your Hand
- [2014.07.02] Cling Cling
- [2014.04.08] Relax In The City
- [2005.08.29] Akihabalove (アキハバラブ) (Perfume (ぱふゅーむ))
- [2007.03.14] Fan Service [bitter] (ファン・サーヴィス[bitter]) (Limited Edition)
- [2008.02.13] Fan Service [bitter] (ファン・サーヴィス[bitter]) (Regular Edition)
- [2008.10.15] Perfume First Tour "GAME"
- [2009.04.22] Perfume "BUDOUKaaaaaaaaaaN!!!!!"
- [2009.09.25] Perfume in HAPPY de Kininaru Chandelier House (Perfume in HAPPYで気になるシャンデリアハウス)
- [2010.01.13] Chokkaku Nitouhen Sankakkei TOUR (直角二等辺三角形TOUR)
- [2011.02.09] Kessei 10 Shunen, Major Debut 5 Shunen Kinen! Perfume LIVE at Tokyo Dome 「1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11」 (結成10周年、メジャーデビュー5周年を記念して行われたPerfume LIVE ＠東京ドーム)
- [2012.08.01] Perfume 3rd Tour "JPN"
- [2013.05.22] Perfume WORLD TOUR 1st
- [2014.02.12] Perfume Clips
- [2014.04.09] Perfume 4th Tour in DOME "LEVEL3"
- [2014.10.01] Perfume WORLD TOUR 2nd
- [2015.03.10] Perfume 5th Tour 2014 "Gurugurun" (ぐるんぐるん; Swing Around)
Compilations / Other
- [2011.05.25] Team Amuse!! - Let's try again
- [2011.08.31] Moteki Teki Ongaku no Susume Eiga Ban (#2 Baby cruising Love)
- [2012.12.05] Kyo, Koi wo Hajimemasu Official Album (#2 Natural ni Koishite)
- [2011.09.28] Perfume Selection
- [2006.07 - 2007.03] PaPaPaPaPaPaPerfume
- [2008.01 - 2008.03] Speciaboys Japan
- [2008.04 - 2008.09] HAPPY!
- [2008.10 - 2009.03] Perfume no Ki ni Naru Ko-chan
- [2009.04 - 2009.??.??] Perfume no Chandelier House
- [2009.04 ~] Music Japan
- [2004.05 - 2001.12] Perfume Planet
- [2004.08 - 2006.03] Perfume no Dokki Doki on Air
- [2006.04 - 2008.09] Perfume no Magical City
- [2007.10 - 2008.09] Perfume no Panpaka Party
- [2008.03 ~] Perfume LOCKS!
- The group's name was written in hiragana at first (ぱふゅーむ). It was only after moving to Tokyo that the group changed its name to Perfume.
- Kashiyuka first met Nocchi at a sleepover at A~chan's house. While A~chan went to take a shower, they shared a very awkward, mostly silent 30 minutes together.
- Before they had become popular, Perfume held a concert in the parking lot of a bowling alley.
- Only 5 guests showed up to Perfume's debut event in Hiroshima. 3 of the guests were employees at the CD store.
- At a DJ event in Hokkaido in 2005, Perfume served audience members a breakfast of handmade Sapporo Ramen.
- In August 2005, Perfume participated in a concert called J-POP Union vol. 2. They performed an unreleased song titled "Juicy Fragrance". The song has never been released because producer Nakata Yasutaka lost the data.
- Perfume also has two other songs that have never been officially released: "Counter Attraction" and "Imitation World". Both are found on the DVD Fan Service [bitter] .
- Perfume's official fanclub is named P.T.A which stands for Perfume to Anata (Perfume and You).
- Official Japanese Website
- Official Global Website
- Universal Music Japan Official Profile
- Tokuma Japan Communications Official Profile
- Official YouTube
- Official Blog
- Official Japanese Twitter
- Official International Twitter
- Official Facebook