Cultivar characterization of Aegean olive oils (cv. Ayvalik and Memecik) based on their volatile compounds was carried out. The main volatile compounds detected in the Aegean olive oils were the C6 compounds derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids through the lipoxygenase pathway. The C6 aldehydes and C6 alcohols contributing to the green and fruity sensory notes of olive oil were determined in the Aegean olive oils as the major volatile compounds. Significant differences in the levels of hexanal, (E)-2-hexenal, 3-ethyl-1,5-octadiene and total compounds from linolenic acid were observed between Ayvalik and Memecik oils (p < 0.01). Principal component analysis (PCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) were applied to process the experimental data. The results of the chemometric analysis revealed that the two cultivars were clearly discriminated on the PC1-PC3 planes and LDA produced a 100% correct group classification. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.