THEY have always enjoyed a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ in the style stakes. Now a new survey has revealed exactly why we think French women are so chic.

Escentual.com asked more than 400 customers who were the more stylish and best groomed: French or British women. And the bad news for British ladies is that their French cousins overwhelmingly beat them.

More than 80 per cent of those questioned - the majority from the UK - admitted the French deserved their reputation for being chic. Asked exactly what that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ was, 45 per cent said it was the French attitude that counted - while just over half put it down to Parisian clothes, perfume and make-up. Three-quarters of those polled said French women got their make up spot on. Just 13 per cent dubbed them over made up.

When quizzed further, 59 per cent said the French were better groomed than their British cousins - with just a quarter backing us Brits – and a staggering 79 per cent branded French women more ‘classy’.

The age-old rivalry between London and Paris as opposing fashion and style centres, it appears, is still going strong. Regent Street is our favourite shopping destination, beating the Champs-Elysees by 39 per cent to 31 per cent.

Thirty per cent of respondents said they’d rather shop online from the comfort of their home. And British designer Stella McCartney, who created Team GB’s Olympics kit, flew the flag, coming second only to Chanel in popularity among high-fashion brands and beating Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior and Burberry.

In the hairstyle stakes, Brigitte Bardot’s famous French twist beat Mary Quant’s bob and Twiggy’s pixie crop.

Emma Leslie, Escentual.com’s beauty editor, said: "French women have always had a reputation for total style and it clearly hasn’t diminished."

Want to bag your own bit of French chic? Get a third off the price of French beauty brands until the end of the month at Escentual.com.

Words by Katy Pearson