Abstract The perception of odour and flavour of foods is a complicated physiological and psychological process that cannot be explained by simple models. Unfortunately, taste is not objective, but partially subjective and it depends also on the mood of the taster. Generally, sensory analysis is used to describe sensory features. The availability of a number of instrumental techniques has opened up the possibility to calibrate the sensory perception. Here we have tested the potentiality of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as “magnetic tongue” to measure sensory descriptors in extra-virgin olive oil. We were able to correlate the NMR metabolomic fingerprints of extra-virgin olive oil to the sensory descriptors: tomato, bitter, pungent, rosemary, artichoke, sweet, grassy and leaf.