The bay leaf can be used fresh or dried – one is enough to add lots of flavor to a dish. When added to preparations, bay leaves release notes of wood, eucalyptus, clove and flowers that make beans more appetizing and stews more fragrant. It goes well with meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and it is one of the ingredients of classic bouquet garni (French combination of herbs). In Brazilian cuisine, it is ubiquitous in savory preparations, but very little used in desserts, sweet pastries and teas − a common practice in other parts of the world. The oil extracted from the leaves of this shrub of Mediterranean origin is also used in perfumery and food industries. The beautiful branches work well for decoration.