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Sometimes spelled khas, this flavouring essence is extracted from the aromatic rhizomes of vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides), a tropical grass. Used to flavour sweet syrups and beverages in India, it is particularly popular in Bengal. The oil is a constituent of some of the world's most expensive perfumes. In tropical Asia the roots are also used to make screens, mats and fans which, when damped down, release again their unique fragrance.
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