Scotland had only won at the Stade de France once in the last 10 years, and beforehand Les Bleus coach Marc Lièvremont said defeat by Frank Hadden's side would represent "true humiliation".
Perhaps with those words ringing in their ears, Scotland were far from the easy prey many had predicted they would be as they started the game with all guns blazing.
The visitors looked more threatening in the opening 10 minutes than they had for the vast majority of last week's dismal defeat against Wales, with brothers Thom and Max Evans showing just why Scottish fans had been so disappointed to see them miss out at Murrayfield.
France looked in trouble in the fifth minute when Sebastien Tillous-Borde fumbled a loose ball on his own tryline following a Max Evans kick and chase.
However, replays showed that the France scrum-half had recovered his hold of the ball a split-second before winger Thom, and referee George Clancy awarded a 5m scrum.
France were making uncharacteristic handling errors and looked a shadow of the side that attacked with such inventiveness in last week's entertaining defeat against Ireland.
We deserved better - Hadden
Scotland suffered a setback after 17 minutes when lock Jim Hamilton was forced from the field with a shoulder injury to be replaced by back-rower Kelly Brown.
Hamilton's absence not only left Scotland several kilos lighter in the pack, they were without a specialist second row as Simon Taylor moved up from number eight.
With their scrum looking unsteady at times, Scotland were intent on playing with a high tempo, but lacked a little composure.
France took the lead in the 22nd minute as Beauxis atoned for an earlier penalty miss with a simple kick between the posts.
Scotland deservedly levelled matters, Phil Godman bisecting the posts in the 33rd minute.
But silly errors allowed France to inch ahead again. Beauxis scuffed one penalty kick, his second miss of the match, before making it 6-3.
Replay - Ouedraogo's disputed try for France
France were better after the break and scored early as a delightful pop pass from Medard allowed Ouedraogo to dive over for the opening try, which Beauxis converted.
Medard's pass seemed forward, but touch judge Wayne Barnes thought otherwise and referee Clancy awarded the try.
Godman made it 13-6 almost immediately after the kick-off before Beauxis restored Les Bleus' 10-point advantage with an impressive 45m penalty.
Scotland's error count was high and Beauxis extended France's lead after Scotland were penalised at the scrum.
The visitors clawed their way back to within six points when Godman fed Thom Evans for a converted try.
Godman had started the attack with a surging run deep into the French 22, Scotland quickly recycled the ball and Thom Evans glided past two defenders to touch down on his debut.
A Scotland victory looked possible, but France were allowed to breath a sigh of relief as a Beauxis penalty kicked the hosts to victory.
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