Scotland could have walked away with a draw, but spurned the chance to kick a stoppage time penalty, only for Alasdair Strokosch to drop the ball in the following attack.
In an absorbing contest, France thought they had scored a first-half try, only for Wesley Fofana's effort to be disallowed for a forward pass in the build-up.
Michalak levelled the scores three minutes into the second half, and full-back Scott Spedding nudged the French ahead with a penalty from inside his own half.
However the visitors looked to be heading for an upset in Paris when Tommy Seymour hacked on Laidlaw's chip to touch down, before number 8 David Denton was sent to the sin bin, creating the space for Nakaitaci to crash over and snatch the win for France. body check tags ::