One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Paper with a smooth, glazed surface on which fine powders can be placed without particles becoming trapped; a piece of this.
2Paper impregnated with potassium chlorate and other potassium salts, powdered charcoal, and starch, rolled up and used in a shotgun as a substitute for gunpowder.
3Paper coated with face powder; a piece of this; = papier poudré.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From powder + paper.
powder paper/ˈpaʊdə ˌpeɪpə/
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