At this point, it has been 15+ years since I have definitively smelled safrole.
I have encountered products that smell, and for some of them, I assumed the smell was safrole. Doubting that now.
Sometimes the smell seems more like a chemical root beer than I recall pills smelling like. Almost like the smell was added afterwards or something.
Right now, I have three different products that smell. One is the piperonal synth. One claimed to be a safrole synth, but honestly, it smells like the piperonal. The other is a very dark MDA. The MDA smells different than the other two, and probably smells closest to the old pills.
That makes sense as MDA is very often made via safrole, not always but in the US it’s common for MDA to be impure and smell of safrole. The last batch I came across was a brown crystal that smelled of safrole.
MDMA is probably often sold as safrole made when it isn’t.
I had the pleasure of being in the presence of safrole over a decade ago (back when you could still buy sassy on eBay) and once you’ve been subjected to the smell long enough it’ll never leave. Spill a tiny bit on the carpet and it’ll permeate your very being for eternity. My girl can’t stwnd the smell now cuz of it.