Smells "like" fish....that's an opinion. I've never noticed it. Never had a bear problem either. I break them up into 1/4's, burn as needed. They are very safe, made of "hexamine" which is also used to treat urinary problems, and blow out easily to stop the flame. They are lighter than hauling fuel bottles around, and the little stoves do double duty with twigs.
I've also used military trioxane tabs but find Esbit much easier to use. Double bag your Esbit, blow out and reuse unburnt tablets.
I've even made a little alcohol burner listed on this website called the Dryer Altoids Stove which replaces the Esbit tablet, burning alcohol instead. But, Esbit and twigs are my fuels of choice. ONLY IN AREAS WITH NO FIRE BAN! I'd rather eat cold food, then risk torching a forest.
My Altoids Stove: (for when you run out of Esbit and twigs) http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html
Then scroll down to "stoves", then "Altoids Stove"