The volatile constituents of the aerial parts of Centaurea amanicola Hub.-Mor., Centaurea consanguinea DC. and Centaurea ptosimopappa Hayek were extracted by hydrodistillation and analysed by GC and GC-MS. Altogether 94 components were identified. Sesquiterpenoids, fatty acids and carbonylic compounds were the most abundant components in the oils. Hexadecanoic acid and (Z,Z )-9,12-octadecadienoic acid were the main fatty acids in all the examined samples, that showed different patterns of composition. The study on the biological activity of the oils showed an action mainly against the Gram-positive pathogens.