Ireland had looked on course for only their second win in Paris since 1972 after establishing a 17-6 half-time lead on the back of two Tommy Bowe tries.
However, France battled back after the interval to salvage a 17-17 draw to leave O'Connell deflated.
He told BBC1: "It's disappointing for us, we played good rugby in the first half, we didn't match it in the second.
"It's disappointing, we had a great opportunity to win and we didn't take it. It's frustrating for us, you don't get many chances to win here.
"The scoreline as it was at half-time, for us not to win is very disappointing for the lads."
Winger Bowe echoed those thoughts, saying: "I think disappointment is the overall feeling at the minute.
"Obviously we had an outstanding first half, we put them under so much pressure but to come away with no points in the second half is a huge disappointment, and it's a very quiet dressing room in there at the minute.
"Obviously we were very happy with the first half, to score two tries over here is very difficult, but to come away with just a draw, nobody enjoys a draw, we're just quite disappointed in there."
Ireland have now won just one of their three Six Nations matches, having narrowly lost to Wales in their first outing before convincingly beating Italy last time out.
Next up for Declan Kidney's side are Scotland at the Aviva Stadium next weekend before they complete their campaign with a trip to Twickenham to face England.
Bowe added: "We've got two massive games now. We obviously suffered a disappointment against Wales at the start of the campaign, then we really showed the quality that we had last week and we showed it in the first half today.
"The second half was disappointing, we now need to dust ourselves off and hopefully come away with two big performances."
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