Imaginary Perfumes for (Un)Real People: GACKT

I know that I gush a lot over X Japan, especially recently, since they re-formed and started becoming way more active, plus they just dropped a new single a week or so ago. But while X Japan was my first taste of the jrock drug, I didn’t really become hooked until Gackt stepped into the scene.

Gackt Camui (神威 楽斗 born July 4, 1973), better known by his stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He has been active since 1994, first as the frontman of the short-lived independent band Cains:Feel, then for the now defunct visual kei rock band Malice Mizer, before starting his solo career in 1999. He has released nine studio albums and, with forty-three singles released, holds the male soloist record for most top ten consecutive singles in Japan music history. (source)

I remembered being a total cray-cray fangirl, dragging a good friend into the hot mess of Gackt-ness, back in secondary school, where we would totally giggle over the fanservice in his live performances. And dude, did you know how bad the quality of Youtube videos were back in the 2000s?!

I loved his blonde fluffy hairstyle back then, and even his straight-ish black normal hair was pretty good too. I’m less enamoured with his choice of hairstyles as the years go by, but hey, his head, his right to do whatever shit he likes. That’s why we got this:

I’m like, dear boy, why?!

But the thing is he’s frigging 42 years old, and he still looks so… young-ish… whereas I’m here feeling like I’m 80 years old inside.

Anyway, onto the imaginary perfume that I’ve cooked up.

Top notes: cold metallic iris (if you’ve ever smelled Serge Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist, that’s the iris I’m going for) and pale fleeting white lilies.

The reason behind using a metallic iris note is because that was how Gackt used to portray himself, and I’m basing this perfume on the old Gackt that I grew up with (kind of, it’s not like I knew him, other than through videos and interviews and such). Gackt always looked untouchable and distant, like he was above interacting with people in general, though you could catch a glimpse of his less serious side. But it felt like he wanted really badly to portray himself as too cool to be interested in mundane human stuff. He used to joke that he was 400+ years old, while hiding his real age, and well, he does look good for his age, whether it’s his good genes, self-care routine or just makeup/photoshop.

White lilies because of his close brush with death as a kid, which he talked about in his autobiography, Jihaku (Confession):

The first time this revolving lantern happened was when I was seven years old.

Drowning in the Okinawa sea, being swallowed by the waves, painfully, struggling and struggling, my feet unable to touch the bottom, seeing things above my head being pulled along forcefully by the waves. Pulled along by the water. Though I tried to breathe, all that entered my mouth was saltwater.

As I could do nothing but drink the saltwater, all sound suddenly disappeared. A gentle sensation, a warm sensation, and there was a feeling as if I was being completely embraced by something. It doesn’t matter what you call it. I was enveloped in a relief that I had not felt until that moment.

It was just after that moment. The revolving lantern began to move. All the memories I had since my birth till then began to one by one flash through my mind.

It was the first time this happened. I felt no fear. I thought that surely I was going to die.

But I didn’t die.

Thereafter, whenever I come close to death, the revolving lantern spins. In situations where I may die, such as traffic accident, a fight, it appears suddenly.

It has happened 15 times. That’s a little much, perhaps.

I was a mischievous child. I had a tendency to face death.

These flowers are associated with death as they symbolised that in death, one would regain the purity and innocence that they had lost in their lifetime.

Heart notes: Vanilla because, duh, that’s one of his song titles. And tobacco leaf as he used to be quite heavy smoker.

Base notes: white musk – maybe he doesn’t appeal to everyone, but he does have his own brand of charisma, hence y’know the musk note is kind of appropriate here. Plus rosewood because it is used in many music instruments, including the piano, which he can play, since he had his first lesson at the age of three.

I’d think that the overall liquid should be a pale yellow-gold colour, housed in a skull shaped perfume bottle, edged in black.

Also, before you think Gackt is all about doom and gloom and acting cool, he does have his hilarious dorky side:

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