The adsorption performance of β-ionone on four types of granular activated carbon (GAC) in water was investigated through batch experiments. The effect of initial β-ionone concentrations and natural organic matter (NOM) adsorbed on GAC, adsorption kinetic and isothermal models were also studied. The results showed that four types of GAC all had good adsorption performance for β-ionone, the equilibrium adsorption amount of the GAC employed was in the order of YK > GK > MZ-A > MZ-B. The adsorption amount increased with increasing initial concentrations. The presence of NOM could reduce adsorption of β-ionone to a certain extent, and small molecular weight (MW) fractions (particularly <1000 Da) exhibited a remarkably competitive effect on the adsorption of β-ionone. The experimental data showed good correlation with pseudo-first-order model. Furthermore, adsorption of β-ionone on GAC fitted Freundlich, Langmuir, and Tempkin isotherms in the range of experimental concentrations, but followed Freundlich isothermal model most appropriate. The thermodynamic parameters were calculated by the results of the experiment, which showed adsorption of β-ionone on GAC as being endothermic and spontaneous.