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  3  definitions  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  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. 
  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 
  The  laws  are  at  present,  both  in  form  and  essence, 
  the  greatest  curse  that  society  labors  under 
  Gifts  and  alms  are  the  expressions,  not  the  essence 
  of  this  virtue  [charity].  --Addison. 
  The  essence  of  Addison's  humor  is  irony. 
  3.  Constituent  substance. 
  And  uncompounded  is  their  essence  pure.  --Milton. 
  4.  A  being  esp.,  a  purely  spiritual  being 
  As  far  as  gods  and  heavenly  essences  Can  perish. 
  He  had  been  indulging  in  fanciful  speculations  on 
  spiritual  essences,  until  .  .  .  he  had  and  ideal 
  world  of  his  own  around  him  --W.  Irving. 
  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 
  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. 
  6.  Perfume;  odor;  scent;  or  the  volatile  matter  constituting 
  Nor  let  the  essences  exhale.  --Pope. 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Essence  \Es"sence\,  v.  t.  [imp.  &  p.  p.  {Essenced};  p.  pr  &  vb 
  n.  {Essencing}.] 
  To  perfume;  to  scent.  ``Essenced  fops.''  --Addison. 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
  n  1:  the  choicest  or  most  essential  or  most  vital  part  of  some 
  idea  or  experience:  "the  gist  of  the  prosecutor's 
  argument";  "the  nub  of  the  story"  [syn:  {kernel},  {substance}, 
  {core},  {center},  {gist},  {heart},  {inwardness},  {marrow}, 
  {meat},  {nub},  {pith},  {sum},  {nitty-gritty}] 
  2:  any  substance  possessing  to  a  high  degree  the  predominant 
  properties  of  a  plant  or  drug  or  other  natural  product 
  from  which  it  is  extracted 
  3:  the  central  meaning  or  theme  of  a  speech  or  literary  work 
  [syn:  {effect},  {burden},  {core},  {gist}] 
  4:  a  toiletry  that  emits  and  diffuses  a  fragrant  odor  [syn:  {perfume}] 

more about essence