What is “Boudoir”?

The term “boudoir” (pronounced “bu-dwar”) is often used to refer to a style of intimate or lingerie photography, but is actually much more than that.

In French, “boudoir” means “to sulk”. In past times, the term was used to refer to an elegant ladies’ place of refuge within her home. It was a sanctuary, off limits to anyone except to those of her choosing, and where she could relax, restore her composure, and prepare for her upcoming adventures in society.

It was a dressing area, a staging area, a meeting place, a bedroom, a wardrobe, a secret hideout and crying room all contained in one private area. It was the ultimate in feminine atmosphere and reflected both the exquisite sensitivity of a woman, as well as her indomitable spirit.

Laces and ribbons, brocades, silks, satins, feathers, powders and pearls were at hand to create whatever vision the lady wished to project. She adopted an persona appropriate to any upcoming occasion, and was well versed in moving from one persona to another as the situation demanded. Certainly one did not welcome a head of state as one would entertain a lover! Accordingly, in the boudoir, many personas were well represented. It could be incredibly expensive to own all the necessary accoutrements of the boudoir, but these were important investments in “playing the game” in the social circles of those times.

Of course, the game could be exhausting, so no boudoir was without its brocade or velvet chaise and full draperies to block out the morning sun. So “boudoir” also refers to the furnishings in the room. Lovely curves and soft plumpness were accentuated in boudoir interiors. Generous down pillows, silky comforters and exotic rugs softened the place of retreat for the lady of the house.

We encourage every woman to experience the sultry extravagance of the boudoir!