By 1895, La Goulue was rich, famous and bored. She announced her departure from the Moulin Rougein Montmarte to set up her own business, investing an enormous sum in a fairground booth and specializing in belly-dancing. She believed that Paris would continue to come to her, but was disappointed in the response. La Goulue without the Moulin Rouge was a failure.
La Goulue drank heavily and eventually she spent all her money on high living, bad investments and drinking. Alcoholic and homeless, she eventually returned to Montmartre, selling peanuts, cigarettes, and matches on the streets. No one recognized the former queen. She died in 1929, telling a priest that she was "La Goulue."
Although most people never heard of La Goulue, her lively, energetic image lives on the work of many artists, most notably the drawings and paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec.