Denton and co were on course for a second consecutive one-point victory in the RBS 6 Nations when Duncan Weir's 61st-minute penalty sailed through the posts.
Earlier, first-half tries from Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour had given Scotland a 14-9 lead and while Yoann Huget's interception try - converted by Maxime Machenaud - put France 16-14 to the good, Weir struck to turn the tables again.
Just as they did in their opening match against England however, France, although far from their fluent best, struck the decisive blow late on with Jean-Marc Doussain slotting a penalty after Scotland replacement Tim Swinson was penalised at the breakdown.
And Denton, who was named man of the match, does not believe justice was done.
"That is one of the most disappointing games I have had in a Scotland jersey," he said.
"We went out and gave it everything we had.
"We were very unlucky at the end. Credit to the boys we played really well. It was very close.
"I'm hugely proud of the boys - the front row especially.
"This is a team that came to beat us up there and I think it is an area of the game we dominated."