Quick dispatch from the illegal drug laboratory battle front (earlier episode here). Parts of The Netherlands are littered with them but how to make members of the public aware of a hidden drug lab where they live or work? After all, the smell of cannabis from an illegal plantation may be familiar to a lot of people but what does an ecstasy lab smell like? In order to fill this obvious knowledge gap The Dutch Justice Department has come up with an xtc perfume, called Xtacy that should smell exactly like one. (AD newspaper) This perfume will become available in police stations to aid investigations. People who have tried the perfume mention mint, candy shop smell and most of all anise. Anise's key component is anethole which does not look like MDMA but smell perception does not work that way. After some careful treading in some 'specialist sites' we find that: MDMA itself does not have smell, that safrole a common precursor to MDMA does have a smell and that it has a chemical similarity to anethole. In fact my source informs me only sloppy chemists sell smelly xtc, Walter White would have carefully washed his xtc batches.