It started long ago when someone noticed the unusual color of oak barrel staves stored in a horse barn. The wood had darkened and ranged in color from honey to hazelnut to olive to black.
The ammonia fumes created by the horses urine were interacting with the tannins found in white oak. What had been discovered was the very first Fumed Oak.
The chemical interaction of fuming oak creates a depth to the grain that can't be duplicated by staining wood.