Scotland coach Andy Robinson has admitted he was lost for words after watching his side slump to a third defeat in this year's Six Nations.
Despite establishing an early 10-0 lead, his side were defeated 23-17 in front of a home crowd at Murrayfield.
Scotland have now lost five successive Test matches for the first time in eight years.
"I am frustrated because the guys played really well but haven't won the game," he told BBC Radio Scotland.
"We're here to win and that's why I'm distraught for the guys. I can't ask any more than what they are giving.
"They've been fantastic and the way they went out and played against a team that got to the final of the World Cup. It's those small margins that are costing us."
The teams were locked at 10-10 at the break, but a try from Lee Jones and Duncan Weir's subsequent conversion shortly after the restart handed the advantage back to Scotland.
However, their four-point advantage was short-lived as Maxime Medard's try was converted by Morgan Parra with 20 minutes left and Lionel Beauxis' drop-goal further stretched the visitors' lead.
"I am a little bit lost for words because I think they had some key things that happened out in that game today, big moments that have cost the game today," Robinson said.
The former England boss, though, was keen to highlight the positives in a performance during which Stuart Hogg and Jones scored their first Test tries, while the forward pack - as demanded by Robinson - went toe-to-toe with a formidable French unit.
"There are lots of positives to take out of it. The way we played in that first 20 minutes, the way the guys have played throughout," Robinson added.
"We just need that little bit going with us and we're not achieving that at the moment. We've got to keep working hard and it will come."
Flanker Ross Rennie took little consolation from being named man of the match.
"We put in another massive effort and, to come away with nothing, everyone is pretty down," he said.
"We made some good breaks and scored some good tries, but on turnover attack the French were awesome and we let them be good.
"Hoggy made a couple of outstanding breaks, I thought he had a great game, he is certainly one to watch."
Robinson also confirmed that Scotland wing Rory Lamont suffered a suspected broken leg after falling awkwardly with half an hour gone.
France remain unbeaten and on course for a Grand Slam decider against Wales on the final weekend of the tournament on 17 March.
Coach Philippe Saint-Andre's side have only played twice however, after their match against Ireland was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
The former Gloucester centre admitted that he would have to rework his side for the rearranged match on 4 March.
"Our full-back Maxime Medard is injured and I think he will be out for next week," he said.
"After that, it will depend on how the squad reacts after a game like this which was so quick with the ball staying on the pitch all the time.
"I think we deserved to win because in the second half we had control of the game. We were very good in the scrum and in the contact area.
"I don't know if this is a championship-winning team, I just know that we have two huge games at home at the Stade de France, first against Ireland on Sunday, and then we will see."