It should have been a tight encounter, but Scotland's much-vaunted pack failed to deliver while their backs showed a chronic lack of firepower.
They created a hatful of try-scoring opportunities, but their inability to put them away suggests another reverse awaits at the Stade de France.
Les Bleus are also reeling after losing their RBS 6 Nations opener - there is no shame in going down at Twickenham, but the result handed England pole position in the title race.
Montferrand fly-half Gerard Merceron has been made the fall-guy for the defeat - he missed three kicks at goal - with coach Bernard Laporte handing Francois Gelez the number 10 shirt.
France hold all the aces, as Gelez is considered to have a cool head under pressure and a prodigious boot, while the French pack should be able to secure the ball for their talented backline.