Optimization of the extraction conditions to investigate the volatile composition of papaya fruit involving headspace solid phase micro-extraction was carried out using multivariate strategies such as factorial design and response surface methodology. The performance of different combinations of time for reaching the equilibrium in the headspace and time for maximum extraction of volatiles was evaluated by GC-olfactometry of the extract (intensity of papaya characteristic aroma), number of peaks and total area in the chromatogram. Thirty-two compounds were identified by GC-MS under the optimized extraction conditions, the majority of which were aldehydes, both in number of compounds and area. Major compounds were δ-octalactone, β-citral, benzaldehyde, heptanal, benzyl isothiocyanate, isoamyl acetate, γ-octalactone, (E)-linalool oxide and benzyl alcohol. Seven aldehydes and two other compounds are reported for the first time in papaya's volatile profile.