The present study investigates the composition of volatile constituents and sensory characteristics of sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana L.) grown in Lithuania. Hydrodistillation, simultaneous distillation–solvent extraction, static headspace and solid phase microextraction methods were used for the isolation of aroma volatiles. Terpinen-4-ol, α-terpineol, γ-terpinene, α-terpinene, cis-sabinene hydrate and p-cymene were the major constituents in sweet marjoram. The differences in the composition depending on the isolation techniques were quite considerable. A sensory panel performed sensory analysis of the ground herb, pure essential oil and the extract, and aroma profiles of the products were expressed graphically. The changes of the odour profiles of marjoram during isolation in many cases can be linked to the odour characteristics of pure compounds present in marjoram. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.