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A fixative is a stabilizing or preservative agent. There are several different compounds called fixatives:



In drawing, a fixative is a liquid, similar to varnish, which is usually sprayed over a finished piece of artwork to better preserve it and prevent smudging. Artwork media requiring fixative include drawings done in pencil, charcoal, and pastel. An artist will often fix layers of a work in progress, in order to easily add further layers. Such a technique requires a workable fixative. Fixative is available in aerosol sprays. Also in a more friendly version for lungs and the environment is a liquid fixative that can be used from the bottle via a manual Spray Diffuser.


Main article: Fixation (histology)

In biology, a fixative is a solution used to preserve or harden fresh tissue of cell specimens for microscopic examination. Usually they stabilize and firm tissues by denaturing or cross-linking constituent proteins. Formaldehyde solution is an example of a fixative. Use of fixatives is an important technique in the discipline of cellular pathology.


Modern embalming chemicals are fixatives, as were the historical chemicals employed in mummification.


In perfumery, a fixative is a natural or synthetic substance used to reduce the evaporation rate, increase perceived odor strength, and improve stability when added to more volatile components. This allows the final product to last longer while keeping its original fragrance. Fixatives are indispensable commodities to the perfume industry. Some examples of fixatives are sandalwood, musk, Ambergris and orris root. Natural fixatives usually have a fragrance considered a base note, reflecting their low volatility.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fixative". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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