Fine (1994 “Essence and Modality”;, Philosophical Perspectives, 8: 1–16) is widely thought to have refuted the simple modal account of essence, which takes the essential properties of a thing to be those it cannot exist without exemplifying. Yet, a number of philosophers have suggested resuscitating the simple modal account by appealing to distinctions akin to the distinction Lewis (1983. “New Work For a Theory of Universals”;, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 61: 343–377; 1986. On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell) draws between sparse and abundant properties, treating only those in the former class as candidates for essentiality. I argue that ‘sparse modalism’ succumbs to counterexamples similar to those originally posed by Fine, and fails to capture paradigmatic instances of essence involving abundant properties and relations.