the above situation, lately, seems to be prevalent most of the time.
strong exterior odor of gasoline around the perimeter of car. on 1994 Ford Escort
Look for stains on the ground or try to isolate where the smell is strongest. Open the hood see if it is strong there. Perhaps a fuel line or fuel tank itself has damage. Get this repaired as it could be very dangerous if left uncorrected.
i have this same problem with my 94 escort lx. the problem mine has is the fuel injector o-ring is leaking hte tiniest bit of gas. rub your finger around an injector one at a time and then smell it. if your finger smells like gas after doing so on one injector then this would be your problem.