Very helpful Review4
Heritage is one of those perfumes where we focus so closely on the iteration and version. EDP, EDT? Recent formulation? Vintage? Which bottle? What year? For what it's worth, I have the EDP, likely from 2006-2008.
Woody amber? Chypre? Floriental? I'll take any/all of the above. But most of all, it's the spiritual successor to its great-aunt, Shalimar. It has Shalimar's citrus/amber opening, skips its animalic, rather noir tones and then rides out that glorious radiant vanilla, tonka, amber, sandalwood parade-float of a heart and basenotes quite similarly to Shalimar. The difference is that Shalimar's harmonies revolve around a purr and a growl. Heritage's harmony is on a far larger scale. It has fewer low-decibel notes than Shalimar, hence no snarl, and actually doesn't quite hit some of Shalimar's high sweet notes either. But, oh, that large middle range. It is so full, so overlapped on itself. It's so densely composed that it feels as if there is a redundant set of harmonics built-in.
This is a bit of a stretch, but I find the closest analogy that captures the experience of Heritage is a song by George Harrison called, "What is Love?" It was from his first solo work post Beatles and you can just hear the exhilaration at being out from under all the Beatles' drama and infighting. But structurally the song, produced by Phil Spector, was the height of the Wall of Sound recording and production method. Dozens of overlapped horn, guitar and vocal tracks create a sound that has as much a quality of physical force as sound. This captures Heritage as well: exuberance and an almost palpable wall of harmonious aroma.
If Heritage is a spiritual heir to Shalimar, and shows a genetic similarity, it is not retro by any means. A 1992 fragrance might look dated, or at least era-specific from the perspective of 2011, but it was also groundbreaking at its release. Large, unabashedly pretty, neither soft-spoken nor cool/fresh like the bulk of the releases of the early 90s, Heritage was out and proud. It falls in line with that anthem of the era among my people: "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it."