In Merriam-Webster Learner's dictionary, the word "essence" means:

noun [singular] the basic nature of a thing.

For example, the essence of love is unselfishness.

The word "essential" means:

noun [count] sth. that is basic or necessary---usually plural

For example, the essentials for success is ...

From the means, they are different. But are they really different? "The essentials for success are...." and "The essence for success is...." are the same in my opinion. So are "essence" and "essential" sometimes interchangeable in meaning? If ignore the single or plural form.

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    One is a noun, and one is an adjective. We would not say "It is essence that I get home on time!" and no, we would not say ""The essences for success are..." We might say "The essence of success **is*...", though. The adjective derives from the noun, but the two words are not interchangeable. – P. E. Dant Oct 10 '16 at 7:54
  • @ P. E. Dant Thank you for your answer. I find my question missing some information and edit it again. "Essential" can also used as a noun. Yes, just now i realized that "essence" is usually used in the single form while "essential" with plural from. And through your example, i realized that there are some situations that they are not interchangeable. But please view my question again for i renew it,and are they always not interchangeable, especially in meaning? – Whisper of heart Oct 10 '16 at 14:25

Essence has an "indistinct" or vague flavor to it, meaning when it is used, it's used to refer to something amorphous, inexact, or even unknown.

If you are happy with what you are doing, then you have the essence of success.

Here we are saying whatever makes you happy is success, and intentionally not providing specifics because we can't know what makes you happy.

Essence is also used to communicate things that "seem like" or "look like" something.

The company's onboarding procedures had the essence of micromanagement. I didn't want to stay there long.

An essential on the other hand is a specific thing or object.

Having a degree, knowing enough people, and doing well in interviews are all essentials of success.

Here we are listing specific things, thus essentials, on what to do to make or create success.

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