The research objectives of this study are to analyse the volatile compositions of different basil types available in Thai markets and to descriptively determine their aromatic qualities. Essential oils were hydro-distillated from fresh leaves of two Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum
) varieties namely, white and red and other basil species, including Tree basil (O. gratissimum
), Thai basil (O. basilicum
var. thyrsiflorum), and Lemon basil (O. citriodorum
). Oil physiochemical characteristics and volatile chromatograms from Gas Chromatography–
Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively describe the chemical compositions. Estragole, eugenol, and methyl eugenol were among the major volatiles found in the essential oils of these basil types. Classification by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) advised that these Ocimum
spp. samples are grouped based on either the distinctive anise, citrus aroma (estragole, geranial and neral), or spice-like aroma (methyl eugenol, β-caryophyllene, and α-cubebene). The essential oils were also used for descriptive sensorial determination by five semi-trained panellists, using the following developed terms: anise, citrus, herb, spice, sweet, and woody. The panellists were able to differentiate essential oils of white Holy basil from red Holy basil based on the intensity of the anisic attribute, while the anise and citrus scents were detected as dominant in the Lemon basil, Tree basil, and Thai basil essential oils. The overall benefit from this research was the elucidation of aromatic qualities from Thai common Ocimum
species in order to assess their potential as the raw materials for new food products.