Rosmarinus officinalis is widely found in the lands of Aegean and Mediterranean regions of Turkey. The goal of this work was to test the antimicrobial activity of the essential oils and methanolic extracts of R. officinalis collected from three different regions at four different time intervals of the year against Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumonia, Enterococcus feacalis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis and Candida albicans. Essential oils were obtained from the aerial parts of the plant by using a Clevenger apparatus, for 4 h. After distillation, the distillates were filtered, air-dried and then extracted by using a Soxhlet apparatus for 9 h to obtain the methanolic extracts. The antimicrobial activities of the methanolic extracts were tested by the disc diffusion technique. The antimicrobial activities of the essential oils obtained from R. officinalis were determined by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). The results indicated that the tested bacteria were sensitive to the essential oils and partially to the methanolic extracts. The antimicrobial activities of the essential oils against the tested bacteria differed, depending on location and seasonal variations. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.