Savory has a strong aromatic flavour, which could be compared to thyme (particularly, thyme harvested in summer), ajwain or the common strain of epazote.
Savory contains an essential oil in varying amounts; good quality should range between 1 and 2%. In contrast to the olfactorily similar thyme, savory contains only minor amounts of thymol, but the main component is carvacrol, a position isomer of thymol (30 to 45%). Furthermore, p-cymene (max. 30%), γ-terpinene, α-pinene (8%), dipentene, borneol, 1-linalool, terpineol and 1-carvone are reported.
Despite savory’s similarities to thyme, its applications are rather the opposite: It is rarely used for meats, but mostly for vegetables. Savory is very often employed for legumes, especially dishes prepared from dried lentils or beans, where it aids digestion significantly. Furthermore, I find it is very well suited for mushrooms. As an authentic flavouring for traditional Central European food, savory may well be combined with hyssop for rustic bean or potato recipes.
On the other hand, savory is frequently found in commercial spice mixtures for sausages, pâtés or pickles. Though not obligatory, it is often part of the Southern France spice mixture herbes de Provence, and it is found in most versions of Georgian khmeli-suneli. It is quite a popular culinary herb in Germany; thus, it is often employed in German versions of bouquet garni.