A boudoir [boo-dwahr] is a woman’s private sitting room or salon in a furnished accommodation usually between the dining room and the bedroom, but can also refer to a woman’s private bedroom. The term derives from the French verb bouder to sulk, or boudeur sulk or sulking, and originally was a room for sulking in, to put away or withdraw to.
The Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) in his literary works helped develop a reputation in this small room dedicated to the privacy of female talks. Since the success of his book Philosophy in the Bedroom, the small sitting room or salon has a sulphurous and scandalous reputation combined with those of all exchanges and frolics.
The term “boudoir” may also be ascribed to a genre of photography. Boudoir photography is not generally a new concept and numerous examples including images of Clara Bow, Mae West and Jean Harlow photographed in a boudoir style from the 1920s through the 1940s.