It was always going to be an emotionally-charged affair on Saturday as O'Driscoll - who was playing in a world record 140th Test match - played his last international match in Dublin.
But despite a raucous crowd O'Driscoll didn't let the atmosphere get to him as he played a major part in three Ireland tries as the men in green got back to winning ways in the RBS 6 Nations with a 46-7 victory over Italy.
And Schmidt admits it was nothing less than the 35-year-old deserved.
"I think it was an incredibly special day, he made it special because he had a hand in three tries," he said.
"His ability to get into space, and get the right pass away at the right time, even if he creates a pass that's probably not out of the textbook.
"He's an incredibly creative man, he's courageous and he's got a bit of class about him.
"In the days of the big direct running, he might be the final bastion along with Gordon [D'Arcy] for the smaller centre who is a creator of play rather than a direct runner.
"I thought the crowd were phenomenal. I guess it's partly he wanted to acknowledge the support he's had, and the crowd gave that back in return.
"I didn't see anyone leave after the final whistle, it was fantastic."