From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Essence \Es"sence\, n. [F. essence, L. essentia, formed as if
   fr. a p. pr. of esse to be. See Is, and cf. Entity.]
   1. The constituent elementary notions which constitute a
      complex notion, and must be enumerated to define it;
      sometimes called the nominal essence.
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   2. The constituent quality or qualities which belong to any
      object, or class of objects, or on which they depend for
      being what they are (distinguished as real essence); the
      real being, divested of all logical accidents; that
      quality which constitutes or marks the true nature of
      anything; distinctive character; hence, virtue or quality
      of a thing, separated from its grosser parts.
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            The laws are at present, both in form and essence,
            the greatest curse that society labors under.
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            Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence
            of this virtue [charity].             --Addison.
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            The essence of Addison's humor is irony.
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   3. Constituent substance.
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            And uncompounded is their essence pure. --Milton.
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   4. A being; esp., a purely spiritual being.
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            As far as gods and heavenly essences
            Can perish.                           --Milton.
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            He had been indulging in fanciful speculations on
            spiritual essences, until . . . he had and ideal
            world of his own around him.          --W. Irving.
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   5. The predominant qualities or virtues of a plant or drug,
      extracted and refined from grosser matter; or, more
      strictly, the solution in spirits of wine of a volatile or
      essential oil; as, the essence of mint, and the like.
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            The . . . word essence . . . scarcely underwent a
            more complete transformation when from being the
            abstract of the verb "to be," it came to denote
            something sufficiently concrete to be inclosed in a
            glass bottle.                         --J. S. Mill.
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   6. Perfume; odor; scent; or the volatile matter constituting
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            Nor let the essences exhale.          --Pope.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Essence \Es"sence\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Essenced; p. pr. & vb.
   n. Essencing.]
   To perfume; to scent. "Essenced fops." --Addison.
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