...Mr. Rodrigues said that Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui were his first tenants, and that they had provided him with fake identity papers and bogus pay slips to obtain a one-year lease. Three others, including a man since identified as Mr. Laachraoui, visited regularly.
The smell in their apartment was horrendous, the owner said, recalling how he had seen on the floor two large fans similar to ones found on construction sites, and an exhaust fan on the wall. Such fans would be useful in the final stages of preparing TATP, the homemade peroxide-based explosives used in the bombings on Tuesday, and also by the November suicide bombers in Paris.
After breaking into the apartment on Tuesday morning, police officers found 30 pounds of TATP — enough for another powerful bomb — as well as nearly 40 gallons of acetone and eight gallons of hydrogen peroxide, materials used in producing TATP. They also found a suitcase full of nails and metal bolts, used to make bombs more lethal, as well as an Islamic State flag.
Mr. Rodrigues said that whenever he visited the apartment, the door to the living room was always shut, while windows throughout the apartment were always open. Mr. Rodrigues said he would smell a “very strong chemical odor” that he could not quite put a finger on. “If it smelled like bleach or drugs, I would’ve recognized it,” he said....OK, I know what acetone smells like, and I know what 50% hydrogen peroxide smells like. Do they really smell so bad? I like the smell of acetone, and 50% hydrogen peroxide just smells sour-ish to me. Here's NYT correspondent C.J. Chivers on Twitter:
TATP production often involves multiple distinct odors, at different stages. Sounds like odors were noted, no one acted.So I am not asking anyone to give me a detailed treatise on the making of TATP (although I seem to recall one (ok, just a simple synthetic procedure) in JACS a few years back), but what's the smell of making TATP?