The activity and the selectivity of Ru and Pt based carbon catalysts in the selective oxidation of long-chain aliphatic alcohols (C8, C10, C12) have been investigated. Ru/AC and Pt/AC always showed good initial activity, however deactivation phenomena rapidly depressed the catalytic performance of the catalysts. These phenomena can be limited by modification of Ru/AC and Pt/AC with Au improving the durability of the catalyst. Ru/AC and AuRu/AC showed good selectivity to the corresponding aldehyde (>95%) making these catalysts promising for fragrances manufacturing. The advantage in using Au modified catalyst lies on the easier regeneration procedure compared to the one necessary for Ru/AC. Pt /AC and AuPt/AC showed a lower selectivity to aldehyde promoting the formation of the acid and the ester formation respectively. The addition of water in the solvent system speeds up the reaction rate but drastically decreased the selectivity to aldehyde especially in the case of Pt based catalysts.