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Monday, 27 August 2012


The bidet was invented in France in the the late 17th century by Christophe des Rosiers. It got its name from a French word meaning ‘pony’ as it looked like an undersized horse.

Early bidets were long, low wooden cabinets, with a metal or china bowl inset in the middle. A lady would sit astride it and wash her nether regions.

The first written record of a bidet appears in a 1710 account of the Marquis d’Argenson, who noted that he had an audience with one Mademoiselle de Prie “as she sat astride her bidet.”

By the mid 18th century bidets were prized designer items in France. Madame La Pompadour possessed two particularly fancy examples. One had a rosewood cabinet decorated with a floral inlay; the other was in walnut, with a red leather backrest. Ladies received guests, both men and women, while sitting astride their bidets.

The bidet seat came about in the 1960s and was improved in the 1980s with the creation of the “washlet.” Using remote-controlled wands that spout water jets and finish with a warm-air dryer, the washlet is especially popular in Japan.


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