The Étoile ("Star") was originally built between 1759 and 1762 as a fluyt named Placelière, purchased while still on the stocks for the King's (Louis XIV's) Navy on 4 August 1762. She was renamed Étoile in April 1763, and re-classed as a corvette. She is famous for being one of Louis Antoine de Bougainville's ships in his circumnavigation between 1766 and 1769, along with La Boudeuse. She was commanded by Francois Chenard de la Giraudais, and was the storeship of the expedition.
She carried naturalist and physician Philibert Commerçon, astronomer Pierre-Antoine Veron, and Jeanne Baré who is recognized as the first woman to have completed a voyage of circumnavigation. During much of the voyage, she was disguised as a man.