The scent of a crushed sassafras leaf is unforgettable—sweet, pungent, fragrant. The fragrant oil distilled from the rootbark is used in some perfumes, and for scents in soap. In some parts of the South the leaves are used as a condiment in sauces and soups, to flavor beers and brew tea. Insects and wildlife use it as a food source. But the Sassafras tree is under threat from laurel wilt disease.