The role of oak in the production of whisky, wine, and even beer, is crucial. Acting both as a storage and ageing vessel, oak also can contribute notes of vanilla, spice, char and coconut to the beverage.
Oak is becoming increasingly popular in the fragrance industry as well. It can be used to add the scent of an oak barrel to a whisky-inspired fragrance, or give a soft sweetness to a woody composition.
For use in perfumery, oak can be extracted from wood chips or even from used barrels. At least one perfumer, Hans Hendley, ages one of his fragrances in oak barrels before it’s bottled!