Perry was outstanding with the ball for Australia in England's second innings claiming 5-38 from 20 overs to bowl the tourists out for just 190 and set the Australians 185 to win.
However, Australia suffered a horror collapse losing 5-27 just before the close of play to now be 5-57 at stumps with Sarah Elliott not out on five and Perry one while needing another 128 runs to win.
Opener Elyse Villani came out swinging for Australia and raced to 21 before being caught on the second chance she offered the England field.
Then once the score got to 1-40 things turned disastrous for Australia as Test debutant Kate Cross ripped through the batting line-up that is dearly missing experience, and could have used the prowess of West Australian product Nicole Bolton on her home deck.
The rot started when Cross had Meg Lanning caught behind for nine and then off the very next ball she got rid of Jess Cameron when she played a poor shot to a wide ball and was caught at slip.
Cross missed her hat-trick to start her next over, but just five balls into it had Alex Blackwell caught behind for a duck.
Suddenly Australia were 4-40 and then 5-55 shortly after when captain Jodie Fields was brilliantly stumped by Sarah Taylor off the bowling of Jenny Gunn.
Australia's skipper was out for leaving Perry to join Elliott at the crease with Perry with another huge job to do after already taking 3-41 and 5-38, and scoring 71 so far in the match.
England started the day in trouble at 3-18 and were then 5-73 after Perry dismissed Arran Brindle (35) and Natalie Sciver (23) in quick succession.
However, England captain Charlotte Edwards came to the crease after injuring her knee in the field on Saturday and joined Gunn for an 85-run partnership.
Edwards made a fighting 56 and Gunn also made 44, but she was then out in the last over before tea and after the break, England put up little resistance bowled out for the lowest total of the match, 190.
The women's Ashes will be decided by whichever team compiles the most points over the Test, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games but the winner of the Test receives six points and the limited overs are worth just two, so it will be a massive advantage.
Fields was obviously disappointed with Australia being five down already in the second innings, with herself already one of them, but the skipper is confident that Elliott and Perry can chase down the majority of the 128 required.
She is also confident that Perry has enough energy left in the tank even after bowling 42 overs in the match and batting in the first innings for over three and-a-half hours in the Perth heat.
"She (Perry) is a fitness freak and she's known as the gym girl in our team. It doesn’t even like she has been sweating and she has pulled up well, and looking forward to batting tomorrow," Fields said.
"It has been an interesting Test match with ebbs and flows, and momentum changes, but that's Test cricket. Unfortunately we wouldn’t have liked to be sitting here five wickets down but we have to fight back tomorrow and I'm sure we can do that. "