i just made a cake the other day for my mil with Wilton royal icing drop flowers. she took the cake to work and was worried about eating the flowers but the BC on the cake made the flowers softer, i guess they absorbed moister from it. her co workers loved the flowers. i do add vanilla to my royal, i add a tsp of vanilla and then decrease the water by a tsp. decrease the water amount added to equal parts flavoring, you can play around with it. i dint refrigerate mine, i leave it out on the counter in a air tight container, you just have whip it back up. i think the smell is because there isn't a flavoring in it. my royal sits out at the most 2 weeks.