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Without a doubt, the center of Coty’s centenary party at the American Museum of Natural History on Sunday night was Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. For the roughly two hours that they stayed at the event, all eyes, from Casey Johnson’s to Holly Dunlap’s to Bettina Zilkha’s to Dennis Paul’s, were on the happy couple sitting together in the VIP area. (They arrived separately, though, with Lopez on the arm of Coty chief executive officer Bernd Beetz.)

Yes, that was Isabella Rossellini coming down the stairs in Issey Miyake, but who was that woman next to J.Lo? (It was reportedly a stylist friend.) OK, OK, we heard you, Tatum O’Neal just got rejected by the bouncer guarding the VIP section, but did J.Lo just tell Marc Anthony how much she liked the mushroom soup? You’re right, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are so cute, but was J.Lo actually eating that whole cookie?

When Venus and Serena Williams raced out the door after telling Robert Verdi they would be right back, you almost couldn’t fault them. No one was really paying attention to them.

“I like playing with the idea of what people think of me,” said Lopez, in an exclusive interview. She was talking about her second appearance on “Will & Grace,” which will air on Thursday, in which she stars, once again, as herself. “All the jokes we make are based on the clichés of what people think my life is like. People always bring you things, like scripts and stuff.”

Lopez was hanging out, eating cookies and taking bites out of a mini tiramisu in order to help promote her Coty fragrances, Glow and Still. She was with her father, David Lopez, too. “Like any other fashion company, you expand out,” Lopez explained of her company, Sweetface Fashions, in which she is becoming more involved. “A fragrance was a natural next step. I’m involved with developing the fragrances and the design of the packaging.”

This story first appeared in the September 14, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Which fragrance was she wearing tonight? “Glow,” she demurred.

“She smells good, doesn’t she?” Anthony chimed in. There was no doubt that Lopez did, indeed, smell good.

“One is more nighttime, one is more of a daytime fragrance,” Lopez continued.

“Both of them have their own mood,” Anthony interrupted. He wouldn’t elaborate or divulge which mood he preferred. “That’s not something I’m going to talk about,” he said with a sly smile.

“I wear Glow most of the time,” Lopez offered.

“Even I wear Glow,” joked Anthony. “You should try it.”

When pressed, Anthony revealed that his fragrance of choice is not Glow but something called Gendarme — which translates to “policeman” in French — because of its arresting scent.

“I guess I’m sort of like a soldier,” he noted, pounding his chest. A necklace featuring the icon of a saint dangled from a Kabbalah-like red string around his neck.

“[Gendarme] is really pretty,” Lopez said.

As it turns out, she’s a woman with an open mind. She’d even try wearing the Olsen twins’ fragrance. “If it smells good, why not?”

As for her outfit, it was Marc Jacobs. Lopez said she chose it “because it’s beautiful,” as if stating the obvious. As of Sunday night, she was planning to go to the Marc Jacobs show, but the other Marc in her life seemed less gung ho. He made a face and shook his head, as if one night of VIP-area hullabaloo was enough.

— Marshall Heyman