The terms “microsmatic” and “macrosmatic” refer to species with lesser or greater levels, respectively, of olfactory function. Historically, primates are considered microsmats (olfactory sense reduced) with a concomitant increased emphasis on vision. The olfactory bulbs (forebrain centers that receive peripheral olfactory input) are proportionately smaller in primates compared to most other mammals. Similarly, the regions of the nasal cavity that are covered with olfactory epithelium (containing receptor cells) have proportionately less surface area in primates than other mammals. Thus, the generalization that primates are microsmatic is most frequently stated in terms of the proportional rather than absolute size of olfactory structures. Yet the importance of scaling to body size is unclear in regard to the chemical senses such as the olfactory or vomeronasal systems—do chemosensory structures such as olfactory bulbs and olfactory epithelium exhibit the same neural relationship to body mass that is seen for neural tissues that supply innervation to musculature or the skin? Previous studies examining neuronal density, volume, and/or surface area of the olfactory epithelium illustrate that different conclusions may be supported based on the parameter used. Plots of olfactory bulb volume versus body mass that generated for large-scale taxonomic studies or growth studies benefit from body mass (or total brain volume) with a comparative perspective. However, our examination of proportional versus absolute measurements implies that in comparisons within taxa, body size adjustments needlessly distort the data. As a final consideration, another embryonic derivative of the nasal placode, the vomeronasal organ, may warrant consideration regarding a definition of microsomia versus macrosomia. Anat Rec (Part B: New Anat) 279B:24–31, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.