Turkish Nigella sativa L. seed extracts were used to detect the aroma and key odorant compounds of the spice using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-olfactometry (GC-MS-O). Volatile compounds were extracted by the purge and trap extraction (PTE) method. A total of 32 volatile compounds consisting of different chemical classes acids (13), alcohols (7), phenols (3), terpene (1), esters (2), ketones (2), aldehyde (1), lactone (1) and hydrocarbons (2) were determined. The amounts of volatile compounds were found to be 21,544 mu g kg(-1). The application of aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA) revealed the presence of 13 odor-active compounds alcohols (2), carboxylic acids (4), phenols (2), terpene (1), ketone (1), hydrocarbon (1) and unknown compounds (2) in Nigella sativa L. extract. Flavor dilution (FD) factors of key odorants ranged between 4 and 1024, while odor activity values (OAV) were in the range of 1.0 to 170.8. Acetoin was the only aroma-active ketone detected in Nigella sativa L. seed extracts. It had the strongest aroma (FD = 1024) and provided a buttery odor. This compound represented the most abundant compound of overall aroma profile with a concentration of 9394 mu g kg(-1), followed by isobutanoic acid (FD = 512 with a concentration of 218 mu g kg(-1)) and contributed a powerful aroma and a cheesy characteristic odor.