· Donovan: vocals and acoustic guitar. Mouth harp on track 02.
· Henry McCullough: lead guitar on tracks 06 and 09.
· Steve Marriot: lead guitar in track 08.
· Peter Frampton: electric guitar on tracks 01, 02 and 03.
· Danny Kotchmar: electric guitar on tracks 05 and 10. Drobo guitar in track 8.
· Neil Hubbard: electric guitar on track 07. Acoustic guitar on track 09.
· Doug Schlink: electric guitar on tracks 07 and 09.
· Carl Raddle: bass on tracks 01, 02 and 03.
· Danny Thompson: bass fiddle on track 04.
· Leyland Sklar: bass on tracks 05, 08 and 10.
· Alan Spenner: bass on track 06.
· Paul Ossola: bass on tracks 07 and 09.
· Nicky Hopkins: electric piano on track 01. Piano on track 03.
· Craig Doerge: piano on tracks 05, 08 and 10. Harpsichord on track 08.
· Carole King: piano on track 11.
· Jean Rousel: clavinette on track 06. Piano on track 09.
· Jack Emblow: accordion on tracks 02 and 04.
· Jim Gordon: drums on tracks 01, 02, 03. Percussion on 01, 02, 06. Congas on 03. Tabla on 10.
· Russell Kunkel: drums on tracks 05, 08 and 10. Percussion on track 05. Conga on track 10.
· Denny Seiwell: drums on tracks 06 and 09.
· Bruce Rowlands: drums on track 07.
· Ray Cooper: percussion on tracks 05, 07 and 08.
· Andrew Powells: horns on track 08. Strings on tracks 03, 05, 08 and 11. Gemshorn on track 10.
· Nicky Harrison: strings on track 07.
· Del Newman: strings on track 09.
· Bobby Whitlock: vocals and organ on track 02.
· The Scratch Band: backup vocals on track 08.
· Simon Jeffes: koto on track 07.
· Chris Nicholls: ace flute on track 07.
· Tom Scott: woodwinds on track 11.
Singles out of this album:
· Sailing Homeward/Lazy Daze
· Andrew Loog Oldham co-produced the album with Donovan.
· Essence To Essence was the third Donovan album that failed to reach the top 25 in the US charts (reached #174), after HMS Donovan and Fairytale. It didn't chart in the UK.
· The album was criticized as a failure, but many of the songs became a very important part of Donovan's live shows in the 70's and the 80's.
· The lyrics talk about meditation and spirituality.
· Sailing Homeward was the title song of the film The Pied Piper.
· In Yellow Star, Donovan sings missing some of the "s" at the end of the words.
· The album title appears at the top of the front cover, with the letters "s" in Essence tilted forward. The original release has the title engraved, but later reissues show it just in black colour.
· The front cover shows Donovan kneeling, in a white background, dressed with white clothes, like meditating. In the inside, there are two more images, with Donovan almost in the same position, but bowing his head each time a bit more until he appears in a total bow on the back cover. The whole process is like he was doing a gentle bow. The artwork was designed by John Kosh and Donovan, and Tony Evans took the photographs.
· The back cover also shows, above Donovan's tilted head, the first verse of Dignity Of Man, and the tracklist, but in a total different order: Yellow Star, Divine Daze Of Deathless Delight, Dignity Of Man, Sailing Homeward, Boy For Every Girl, Life Is A Merry-Go-Round, Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth, There Is An Ocean, Life Goes On, Lazy Daze and Saint Valentine's Angel.
· The insert has a little message from Donovan: "Humble appreciation to all my brothers in music who played on these songs". Musicians like Peter Frampton and Carole King collaborated in this album.