The volatile substances in Torreya grandis aril were extracted using the simultaneous distillation and extraction (SDE) and headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) method. The quantitative analysis was carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) combined with the peak area, while the qualitative analysis was conducted using GC-MS combined with the retention index. The results showed that 96 volatile substances with a matched-degree up to 90% were detected by the two extraction methods. Of which, 57 substances were detected by SED and 39 were detected by HS-SPME. Among the detected substances, 60 were alkenes and 12, 9, 3 and 12 were alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters, aldehydes and ketones, and other compounds, respectively. The results suggested that HS-SPME had such advantages as simple pretreatment, short time and better repeatability, indicating it is suitable for a rapid determination of volatiles. However, the combination of the two methods could provide an overall picture of volatile substances in aril of Torreya grandis.