I make sure not to put the box too out of the way because if I'm avoiding the smell it means I'm neglecting to change it often enough for my cats health and mine since he sits on my lap.
I don't lid it because can you imagine how bad the fumes trapped in there are for your poor cat?
That all being said, I use the silicon crystals and would never in a million years ever go back, I love that with even semi reasonable servicing do not smell at all. The added bonus is that since it desiccates the poop, i believe that it has less chance to grow bacterial and other yuck in it.
Everything is dry and rock hard within an hour of getting deposited.
I scoop and stir once a week, sometimes a tad more and change the whole box every 3-4 weeks.