Looking every inch World Cup contenders in the first of only two matches in preparation for New Zealand, the French were unstoppable as they raced 13-0 ahead.
Wing Vincent Clerc emerged as chief tormentor once more, scoring his ninth try in nine games against Ireland, in an ominously dominant start.
Ronan O'Gara, kicking superbly, led the Irish fightback in the second half but Trimble insists the damage had already been done as they slumped to a 19-12 loss.
"They came out of the blocks fairly quickly but we knew they were going to do that," said the Ulster winger.
"They like to start fast to take the pace out of your own game. If they don't do that, they end up chasing their tails a little bit.
"If things don't go their way they have a habit of getting frustrated and a bit tired.
"Then the game flipped and it looked like we were going to be in the ascendancy but we never quite got there
"It's tough coming to France. The crowd get on your backs and there's bit of a carnival atmosphere, everyone's having a good time.
"It's very difficult to stop the rot and get back into the game, but we did manage to change the tide a bit."
France lurched from the sublime to the ridiculous in a flash, attacking the second half with gusto until a break from Rob Kearney saw the initiative dramatically change hands.
It was only then that Ireland could compete on equal terms with O'Gara eating away at the deficit through a string of penalties.
A late assault on the French line aimed at securing a draw was repelled as Ireland slumped to their second consecutive defeat of their summer series.
For successive Saturdays coach Declan Kidney has looked crestfallen in defeat and there was no attempt to retreat behind an improved second half yesterday.
"I'd hate to go back into the past and say that I'm glad we had a really good second half," said Kidney.
That frustration was shared by Ireland's players with Trimble admitting they had contributed to their downfall.
"It's the same as against Scotland last week - if you can't hold on to the ball it's going to be a long night, especially when you're playing in the south of France," he said.
"Considering how many turnovers we made, we did well to hold on to the game as well as we did. We deserve a lot of credit for that.
"We showed bits and pieces when we did hold on to the ball."
Ireland have an immediate opportunity to avenge defeat with the teams set to meet again on Saturday, while on Thursday a second string face Connacht.
Kidney will announce a team closer in identity to his first choice XV for the return at the Aviva Stadium with Paul O'Connell, Jamie Heaslip and David Wallace expected to start.
It is important Ireland build some momentum for New Zealand by winning their two remaining internationals, against France and England seven days later.
Preparations for the World Cup are now entering a critical stage with the extended squad set to be reduced to a final 30 tomorrow week.
Major injury concerns hang over Gordon D'Arcy and Stephen Ferris, while the fitness of Brian O'Driscoll and Tommy Bowe is also in doubt.
Full-back Rob Kearney, who returned from knee surgery only last weekend, incurred a groin problem yesterday and will be monitored closely.
Trimble can only be closer to making the final cut, however, following two energetic performances that have seen him emerge as one of Ireland's few dangerous players.
"When you play these games there's an element of going out there to book your flight to New Zealand," he said.
"But the only way you're going to realise that ambition as an individual is by playing as a team.
"You look after each other and it's important that everyone buys into that, and I think we have."
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