One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Paper impregnated with face powder.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in Yesterday's Shopping: the Army and Navy Stores catalogue 1907. Probably from French papier poudré (although the date of first attestation in French is not known) from French papier + poudré, past participle of poudrer.
papier poudré/ˌpapjeɪ ˈpuːdreɪ/
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