I'm afraid I don't have any authoritative reference, but have you checked the Wikipedia article 婦人?
So 婦人 was a stylish word back in the early 20th century, but now it's a dated word. The article also says some feminists accused 婦人 of being "politically incorrect" in 1990's, saying the right part of 婦 is from 箒 (broom).
My personal impression of 婦人 is the same; today it's closer to madam than woman, and many compounds which use 婦人 smell like Taisho period to me. Perhaps 婦人服 is relatively still common now, but I feel even this word is disappearing except in traditional department stores like 三越.
I found this thorough article regarding the usage of 女性 and 婦人:
「婦人」と「女性」－ことばの歴史社会学－ by Takako Hiroi
According to this, 婦人 was the accepted translation of English woman which firstly came into use at around 1870. Owing to its "modern western" feelings, it caught on from around 1885 until 1920's. Countless words using 婦人 appeared in those days. However:
As the status of women improved in Japan, 婦人 became gradually worn-out, because it too much gained the "women-in-the-society" connotation during the 大正デモクラシー political movement. People needed more neutral word for 'women'.
As for the etymology of 女性, it first appeared in Meiji era, and at first it was a rare word which was used to translate feminine gender found in western languages. But as 婦人 became unpopular, 女性 replaced it because 女性 looked more neutral and objective. The first book with the title containing 女性 was published in 1901, and after the 1930's it became dominant. Thereafter 婦人 survived in limited situations, but it inevitably gained "married", "elder", or "ma'am" connotation as we know today.